island bird avian

Avian malaria threatens Galapagos bird species

The Galapagos Islands may have inspired Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, but scientists fear some of the species he observed may not be capable of adapting to new environmental challenges.

Experts say the introduction of foreign parasites to the islands and the increase in frequency of El Nino events, which scientists recently attributed to global warming, could push bird species in the Galapagos towards extinction.

“The situation is precarious,” says Dr Patricia Parker, Endowed Professor of Zoological Studies at the University of Missouri St Louis (UMSL), “particularly for species such as the Galapagos penguin, which live in very small populations.”

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