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Sunday, May 26, 2024 | Back issues
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Galapagos volcano home to endangered lizard erupts

Six months ago, there were just 211 pink iguanas left on Isabela, the largest island in the Galapagos archipelago, whose volcano erupted Friday.

QUITO, Ecuador (AFP) — A volcano on a Galapagos island that is home to a species of critically endangered lizard has erupted for the second time in seven years, national park officials said Friday. 

The Wolf volcano's slopes host the pink iguana, only 211 of which were reported to be left on Isabela, the largest island in the Galapagos archipelago, as of last August.

"#Galapagos Wolf Volcano begins eruptive activity on Isabela Island..." the Galapagos National Park (PNG) said on Twitter, citing staff who witnessed the eruption.

For its part, the Geophysical Institute of Quito said the 1,707-meter (5,600-foot) volcano spewed gas-and-ash clouds as high as 3,800 meters into the air, with lava flows on its southern and southeastern slopes.

The volcano, the highest of the Galapagos, is some 62 miles from the nearest human settlement.

The PNG did not state whether the iguanas or other animals who live on the island were in imminent danger.

The area also hosts yellow iguanas and the famous Galapagos giant tortoises.

Located in the Pacific some 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands are a protected wildlife area and home to unique species of flora and fauna.

The archipelago was made famous by British geologist and naturalist Charles Darwin's observations on evolution there.

The Wolf volcano last erupted in 2015 after 33 years of inactivity, without affecting local wildlife.

The pink iguanas that inhabit its slopes were identified as a separate species only in 2009, and occupy an area of 10 square miles. They are found nowhere else.

Isabela island also hosts four other active volcanos.

© Agence France-Presse

Categories / Environment, International

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