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The Galapagos penguin is one of the smallest penguins in the world and is endemic to the Galapagos Islands. It is the most northerly occurring penguin species, nesting entirely in the tropics, with some colonies living on the northern tip of Isabela in the Northern Hemisphere. These are the only species of penguin found north of the equator and in the Galapagos. They are closely related to the African, Humboldt and Magellanic penguins – all of which are burrow-dwelling. As there is no soft peat in which to burrow on the Galapagos Islands, Galapagos penguins instead live in caves and crevices in the coastal lava.
While exploring the waters that surround Isabela Island from the comfort of a kayak, we managed to locate a colony of Galapagos Penguins. An iconic endemic species that is an absolute pleasure to observe. They stood still like statues, blending in with the dark tones of the volcanic rock. I wanted to enhance this when exposing for the subjects. Creating a dramatic contrast between the white and black tones.
Penguins are threatened by pollution, bycatch and climate change. Introduced species, such as dogs, carry diseases that can spread to penguins as well, and cats pose a threat as predators. Past strong El Niño events have caused mortalities of up to 77 percent, with dramatic declines of prey species and reduced breeding success.
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#dylanrjackaman at Isabela Island, Galapagos Ecuador