Post Office Bay in the Galapagos was the site of a key conversation for Charles Darwin.
Tourism pressure endangers islands
The number of tourists in the Galapagos has soared in recent years. From just a few thousand visitors in the 1970s, about 180,000 people visited the archipelago last year. And if the growth continues at the current rate, some predict more than half a million tourists may be heading to this area by 2017. Tourism is a major source of income for this region and there are tight regulations surrounding the movements of tourists. However, conservationists are worried about the potential impact on this ecosystem. They believe that the more people who come into the area, the greater the risk of oil spills or other environmental damage to the islands. Invasive species are also a concern: increased movement from tourism and commerce has allowed many new species to reach the islands, threatening the native flora and fauna.
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