In 1978 a milestone was written in the history of Ecuador: the Galapagos Islands became the first destination to be declared a Natural World Heritage Site, a designation granted by the United Nations Organization for Education, Science and Culture ( Unesco ). 42 years after recognition, Google decided to pay tribute to the landscapes, biodiversity and charm of the Archipelago with a ‘ doodle’ this Sunday, May 31, 2020.
Giant turtles , blue-footed boobies, sea lions, fish and penguins star in the illustrations that Google exposed in his doodle , as a showcase of the biodiversity of the Galapagos Islands. The Archipelago also includes two protected areas: the Galapagos National Park , which centralizes 97% of the land area and the Galapagos Marine Reserve.
In the 233 islands, islets and rocks -which germinated from volcanoes- diverse animal species coexist: reptiles , giant tortoises -14 native species and four extinct-, iguanas , lizards, snakes, 13 species of ‘ Darwin ‘ finches , the turtledove of Galapagos, flycatchers, pelicans, boobies, among others.
In addition to being the natural source that inspired the scientific theories of Charles Darwin , the Archipelago was raised with the title of Natural Heritage of Humanity on September 8, 1978, meeting the four criteria established by the Unesco Heritage Committee .
According to information from the Ministry of the Environment, the designation was framed in: containing natural phenomena or areas of exceptional beauty; be one of the representative examples of important stages in the history of the Earth, including testimonies of life, geological processes creating geological forms; constitute as eminent evidence of ecological and biological processes in the course of the evolution of ecosystems and encompass more representative and important natural habitats for the conservation of biodiversity , including those that contain threatened species.
Although the natural beauty of the islands has been exposed on an international scale, it also faces a harsh reality. In Ecuador, one of the epicenters of human-made plastic pollution falls on the Archipelago , as the material affects about 20 animal species in the region.