2021 – Galapagos Islands & Ecuador

Bob Williams’ program for the April 2021 HSCSS meeting featured the amazing flora and fauna of the Galapagos Islands and mainland Ecuador. In 2018, Bob and his wife, Marge, were invited to join her brother and his wife for nine days on the islands and five days in Ecuador. It was a trip of a lifetime.

Located in the Pacific Ocean 500 miles west of Ecuador, the small, volcanic Galapagos Islands are recognized for their large number of endemic species. One of the most unique features on the islands is the opuntia forests. These plants came from mainland South America. Six species of tree opuntia have evolved into 14 different varieties with characteristics based on the islands where they are found.

Ecuador is among the 17 richest countries in the world in native botanical species. It is estimated that some 17,000 species of plants are native to Ecuador. The country is diverse in habitat and in culture.