Tortoises vs. the volcano

Cerro Azul, Galapagos

I always find it interesting how and why news of a volcanic eruption makes it into the press. Sometimes it is just to report the eruption itself, however, a lot of the time it is more to report the “human interest” side of the story, or in this case, the wildlife side of the story. Cerro Azul, one of the volcanoes in the Galapagos islands, apparently erupted on Thursday (5/29). Lavas flows on the northeast side of the volcano are threatening the Giant Galapagos Tortoises and their status (the tortoises and the lava flows) will be monitored.

On the volcanic side of things, Cerro Azul last erupted in 1998, so it has been 10 years since the last one. The volcano is a shield volcano and makes up part of the Galapagos Islands – all volcanoes related to the Galapagos hot spot (similar to Hawai’i). The last eruptive period produced basaltic lava flows from rift vents and from the central vent, but was relatively mild (VEI 1) in nature. Authorities did, in fact, evacuate endangered tortoises during the last eruption, so we might see the tortoises get moved again if the current eruption continues.


  1. #1 lily
    October 27, 2008

    these are really kl photos and im so sad about the tortoises they should be able to live!

  2. #2 Leandro Shore
    December 15, 2010

    Thanks for your wonderful post! It has been extremely helpful. I hope that you will continue posting your knowledge with us.

  3. #3 Clementina Dopita
    December 16, 2010

    Hey I was looking to use some of your information on my small german blog if that would be ok?

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