Galápagos Islands, Ecuador
Remote and remarkable, the gorgeous Galápagos Islands are a haven for wildlife lovers. But there is trouble brewing in paradise. More than 170,000 tourists head here on an annual basis, keen to see the famed Giant Tortoises and countless other creatures at close quarters.
But increasing numbers are putting quite a strain on this minuscule dot in the ocean. One proposal being considered is a cap to limit visitors. Yet this will not solve all the island’s mounting issues.
Global warming is having a major impact here and, as the ocean temperatures continue to rise, the region’s marine life is under threat. Climate change is causing widespread coral bleaching, damaging the reefs and killing the creatures that live there. Moreover pollution, illegal fishing and the ever-present risk from the El Nino weather system put the Galápagos Islands in grave danger.