Not all of the challenges that the wildlife on the Galapagos Islands face are entirely manmade. El Nino, a climate event that happens every three to seven years, causes winds to change and temperatures in the Pacific Ocean to rise. The water, which is usually cool and nutrient-full, is replaced with tropical, warm streams. What follows is heavy rain, rises in sea levels and greater wave action. In some parts of the world, El Nino triggers droughts (like in Australia), while other places can suffer from floods (like in the US). Nearly all of the native animals on the Galapagos Islands are affected by El Nino. But penguins arguably suffer the most. In 1997, El Nino correlated with a penguin mortality rate of 77 percent. Algal beds die, sardine populations shrink and rising sea levels result in marine birds struggling to feed their offspring and laying fewer eggs. Essentially, there is less food for everyone.
And with accelerating global warming, the impacts of El Nino are projected to intensify.
Check the link in our bio to read more about the 2015 El Nino, the worst in a decade.