Cover image for Wildlife of the Galapagos
Wildlife of the Galapagos
Fitter, Julian.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, [2002]

Physical Description:
254 pages : color illustrations, maps ; 19 cm.
General Note:
First published in 2000 by HarperColllins ... under the title Collins safari guide to the wildlife of the Galagpagos.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
QH198.G3 F57 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



The Galápagos is a truly special place. Unlike the rest of the world's archipelagoes, it still has 95 percent of its prehuman quota of species. Wildlife of the Galápagos is the most superbly illustrated and comprehensive identification guide ever to the natural splendor of these incomparable islands--islands today threatened by alien species and diseases that have diminished but not destroyed what so enchanted Darwin on his arrival there in 1835. Covering over 200 commonly seen birds, mammals, reptiles, invertebrates, and plants, it reveals the archipelago's striking beauty through more than 400 color photographs, maps, and drawings and well-written, informative text.

While the Galápagos Giant Tortoise, the Galápagos Sea Lion, and the Flightless Cormorant are recognized the world over, these thirty-three islands--in the Pacific over 600 miles from mainland Ecuador--are home to many more unique but less famous species. Here, reptiles well outnumber mammals, for they were much better at drifting far from a continent the archipelago was never connected with; the largest native land mammals are rice rats. The islands' sixty resident bird species include the only penguin to breed entirely in the tropics and to inhabit the Northern Hemisphere.

There is a section offering tips on photography in the Equatorial sunlight, and maps of visitors' sites as well as information on the archipelago's history, climate, geology, and conservation. Wildlife of the Galápagos is the perfect companion for anyone who wants to know what so delighted Darwin.

Covers over 200 commonly seen species including birds, mammals, reptiles, invertebrates, plants, and coastal and marine life
Illustrated with over 400 color photographs, maps, and drawings; includes maps of visitors' sites
Written by wildlife experts with extensive knowledge of the area
Includes information on the history, climate, geology, and conservation of the islands
The most complete identification guide to the wildlife of the Galápagos

Author Notes

Julian Fitter , vice-president of the Galápagos Conservation Trust in the UK, first visited the Galapagos in 1964 and went on to spend fourteen years there, establishing the islands' first charter yacht business. His son Daniel Fitter leads nature tours in the Galápagos and on mainland Ecuador. David Hosking , a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society, is the coauthor of Wildlife of East Africa . A frequent visitor to the Galápagos for more than three decades, he has published in a wide range of magazines and books.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

On page 237 of this richly illustrated, informative field guide to the Galápagos Islands, the authors write, "This is not a general guide for the visitor...." This statement occurs after 646 photographs (of reptiles, birds, fish, invertebrates, and mammals); 45 pen-and-ink drawings (of Galápagos finches, tortoises, whales, and others); suggestions on which camera to bring, what type of weather one can expect, how to contribute to the charities that protect the islands; and, of course, 54 maps of the islands in the Galápagos archipelago. The reviewer makes sense of the protestation that "this is not ..." by noting the general modesty of the authors in presenting their hard-earned knowledge. This is not an academic, taxonomically oriented guide but rather a collection of photographs and "just-so" stories from decades of living on the islands. When going to the Galápagos, this is the field guide the reviewer recommends packing. It also comes in handy because of explanations regarding adaptive radiation--not just in the finches but also parallel adaptive radiation (and, therefore, confirmation of the hypothesis) in daisies, snails, and tortoises. Summing Up: Recommended. All readers. --George C. Stevens, University of New Mexico

Table of Contents

Forewardp. 4
The Authorsp. 5
Acknowledgementsp. 6
Conservation Pleap. 7
Introductionp. 8
National Park Rulesp. 12
A Travellers' Guide to Safari Photographyp. 14
Key to Species' Statusp. 22
Birdsp. 23
Reptilesp. 82
Aquatic Mammalsp. 100
Land Mammalsp. 112
Invertebratesp. 114
Plantsp. 134
Geology and Vulcanologyp. 200
Historyp. 206
Ocean Currents and Climate--El Nintilde;op. 212
Conservationp. 216
Notes for the Visitorp. 221
Visitor Sitesp. 222
Bibliographyp. 247
Glossaryp. 249
Indexp. 250