Principal Author: Paul D. Stewart; Co-authors: Godfrey Merlen, Patrick Morris, Andrew Murray, Joe Stevens, and Richard Wollocombe; Foreword by Richard Dawkins
Rocky, fragile, beautiful, strange—the Galápagos archipelago is unlike any other place on earth. Its geology, its unique flora and fauna, and its striking role in human history intersect in surprising and dynamic ways. This book is the most wide-ranging and beautifully illustrated book available on the famous islands. Not since Darwin’s Naturalist’s Voyage has a book combined so much scientific and historic information with firsthand accounts that bring the Galápagos to life.
Galápagos: The Islands That Changed the World describes how tragedy and murderous pirates curtailed settlement of the islands and how the islands’ pristine nature, spectacular geology, and defining isolation inspired Darwin’s ideas about evolution. The book explores the diverse land and marine habitats that shelter Galápagos species and considers the islands’ importance today as a frontier for science and a refuge for true wilderness.
The book’s extensive gazetteer provides details about endemic plants and animals as well as travel advice about visitors’ sites, diving, photography, when to go, and what to take. Vividly illustrated throughout, this guide is an indispensable reference for natural history enthusiasts, armchair travelers, and island visitors alike.
Paul D. Stewart has published extensively in leading science and conservation journals. He has produced and filmed many award-winning documentaries for the BBC’s Natural History Unit. Godfrey Merlen, a thirty-year resident of the Galápagos, works with the National Park Service and is director of the Wildaid Foundation. Patrick Morris is an award-winning wildlife documentary maker and the series producer of Galápagos. Andrew Murray is producer of the second episode of the Galápagos series and works with the BBC’s Natural History Unit. Joe Stevens works for the BBC’s Natural History Unit. Richard Wollocombe, one of the first dive guides in the Galápagos, is a naturalist guide and filmmaker in South America.
“I have been to the Galapagos and as I read this book I found myself ‘walking the paths’ again. Stewart offers an enjoyable and complete overview of the islands.”—Noble Proctor, author of A Field Guide to North Atlantic Wildlife
"The definitive single volume on the Galapagos that ecotourists and readers from all walks of life have been awaiting."—Margaret Lowman, author of Life in the Treetops and co-author of It's a Jungle Up There: More Tales from the Treetops
"To anyone contemplating a visit to Las Encantadas (Galapagos), the Gazetteer alone is worth the price of this book. Paul Stewart's Galapagos will be my treasured companion on my next visit, and I shall take along an extra copy to present to the boat's library. If you are not able to go in person, reading this book and savouring its pictures is, if not a substitute, a delight to be going on with."—Richard Dawkins (from the foreword)
"This group of volcanic islands lying along the equator in the Pacific Ocean are famous for their rare species of fauna and flora. Stewart and five coauthors first decide the geological journey that sets each island's lifespan from volcanic birth to death and burial. Then they narrate what they label 'the human history of the Galapagos' and explain how Charles Darwin revealed the islands as a land of riches and triggered a revolution of scientific thought. . . . A special treat of a book."—Booklist
"This engaging book provides a well-written and beautifully photographed guide to the social, geological, and biological history of the archipelago, and contains an impassioned plea for its conservation. . . . The text is illustrated by breathtaking photographs that grace almost every page. . . . This fascinating book serves as both a lively and engaging guide to the Galápagos and a beautifully photographed coffee-table reference. It should be read by anyone with an interest in the islands, their history, and their future."—Maren N. Vitousek and Martin Wikelski, Quarterly Review of Biology
"Want to visit the Galapagos Island, but haven't managed it yet? This book, with its beautiful pictures and interesting text, will either make you think you've been there or make you arrange your plane tickets."—Ecology
"This first-rate book—with many fine photographs illustrating the rich organic life there, and a 'gazetteer' with lists of the archipelago's flora and fauna—will appeal to anyone interested in natural history, including those who may not have the resources to travel to these 'enchanted isles.' . . . Recommended. Lower-upper-level undergraduates and general readers."—Choicegazetteer
Selected as a 2008 AAUP University Press Book for Public and Secondary School Libraries.
Sales Restrictions: For sale in North America only.