Collection of the Artist
Winner of Artists for Conservation 'Medal of Excellence' 2010
Galapagos Marine Iguanas are the only sea-going lizard in the world. They feed almost entirely on algae, larger stronger males by diving once a day and smaller females and juveniles by feeding on exposed reefs close to shore. They are cold-blooded and must warm by basking in the sun on the black lava rocks, both before and after feeding trips. A pleasant past-time was observing the many dainty finches such as this one hopping about taking ticks and mites from the skin of the gruff marine iguanas. Of the 7 marine iguana populations, 6 are categorized as Vulnerable under the IUCN red list. One subspecies on San Cristobal and Santiago is classified as Endangered due to an oil spill in 2001 that caused extensive habitat contamination. All Galapagos marine iguana populations are susceptible to ongoing predation by introduced feral cats and dogs.