The Galápagos Islands in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Ecuador are a playground for biodiversity . Particularly famous for their role in helping Charles Darwin and his theory of evolution in the 1830s and 1840s , it’s home to many species that aren’t found anywhere else on the planet. Giant tortoises, flightless cormorants, and three species of land iguanas are some of the many animals that only call these islands home.
One land iguana species is the critically endangered Galápagos Pink Land Iguana ( Conolophus marthae ), which is only found on Isabela Island, one of the 13 major islands in the archipelago. First discovered in 1986 and identified as a new species in 2009 , there are only about 200 to 300 of these photogenic reptiles on the Isabela Island.
[Related: Rare, storied pink iguana discovered. ]
For the first time since scientists found the species, hatchling and juvenile populations of the Galápagos Pink Iguana have been found. The iguanas live along the slopes of Isabela Island’s Wolf Volcano and stretch up to 18.5 inches long.
“This discovery marks a significant step forward, which allows us to identify a path going forward to save the Pink Iguana,” said Danny Rueda, the director of the Galápagos National Park, in a statement .
One of the most remote spots monitored by the Galápagos National Park, the Wolf Volcano is home to a research and monitoring