The colonisation of remote oceanic islands requires exceptional abilities and is a matter of luck. Firstly, plants and animals have to survive the difficult journey, secondly they have to encounter islands in the vast ocean, and finally they have to be able to cope with the living conditions on these islands. Since only few succeed, there is always only a small number of species on such isolated islands. On the Galápagos Islands, there are several invertebrates, birds and reptiles, but only a few mammals and no amphibians. However, under the influence of the living conditions on the islands, new species evolved. These unique species do not exist anywhere else in the world. It is no wonder that the observations that Charles Darwin made on the Galápagos Islands answered his lifelong question “What is the origin of new species?”
Humans populated Galápagos relatively late. Only few were able to endure the inhospitable climate and the lack of fresh water. It was only after 1832 that more people arrived. Thanks to this fact, a major part of the unique natural environment has been preserved. However, since 1980 it has been seriously affected by the rapid growth of population and tourism.