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Galapagos Travel


1535   The Galapagos Islands were discovered by Fray Tomás de Berlanga, Bishop of Panama.
1570   The islands first appeared on a map, one by Abraham Ortelius, another by Mercator.
17th C   Pirates used the islands as a base for raids on spanish colonial ports.
1684   First navigation charts of the islands were made by buccaneer Ambrose Crowley.
1708   Alexander Selkirk visited the islands after being picked up from the Juan Fernandez Islands by captain Woodes Rogers.
1790   The first scientific mission was sent to the Galapagos by the King of Spain under Sicilian captain Alessandro Malaspina.
1793   English Capitan James Colnett came the the Galapagos to investigate whaling opportunities.
1795   Captain George Vancouver visited the Islands and wrote about them as "the most dreary barren and desolate country I ever beheld". 
1807   The first resident of the Galapagos, Patrick Watkins was thought to be marooned on Floreana Island.
1811-1844   Over 100 thousand tortoises are estimated to have been taken from the  islands mostly by whalers for food.
1813   U.S. Warship, Essex, came to the Islands to destroy a British whaling fleet. Goats were accidentally released on Santiago Island in the process.
1832   The Galapagos Islands were officially annexed by Ecuador. A penal colony was created on Floreana where political and other prisoners were sent.
1835   Charles Darwin visited the islands.
1892   The islands were officially renamed "Archipiélago de Colón" in honor of the 400 year anniversery of Christopher Columbus' discovery of the Americas. Official Spanish names were also given to each of the islands.
1893   The Settlement Villamil on Isabela Island was created.
1926   Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz was started by a group of Norwegians.
1930's   A strange series of deaths and disappearances occurred on Floreana involving a German philosopher and his mistress, Heinz and Margaret Wittmer, and the Baroness and her three lovers.
1934   The first legislation to protect the islands were enacted.
1942 - 1947   Baltra was used as a US Naval Base.
1959   The Ecuadorian Government declared 97% of the land area in the Galapagos as National Park land. The Galapagos National Park and Charles Darwin Research Foundation were founded. 
1968   The Galapagos Islands were included in the National System of Protected Areas of Ecuador through the Law of Forestry and Conservation of Natural Areas and Wildlife.
1971   The National Park Service began trying to eradicate the introduced guava and quinine trees.
1971-1975   About 38 thousand feral goats were eradicated from Pinta island.
1979   The Galapagos Islands were included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites.
1985   The Galapagos Islands were declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO.
1986   The Marine Resources Reserve of Galapagos was created by the Ecuadorian government.
1990   The Islands were declared a Whale Sanctuary.
1998   The "Special Law for the Conservation and Sustainable Development of Galapagos Provence" was approved.
2001   The Galapagos Marine Reserve was included as part of the Galapagos World Heritage Site.
2009   The Galapagos National Park celebrated 50 years of conservation efforts.
June 2012   Lonesome George, the last giant tortoise of his subspecies, and iconic figure in the Galapagos passed away.
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