Galapagos volcano erupts for first time in 33 years, threatening rare pink iguanas

Video: Wolf Volcano is the highest point on the archipelago

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A volcano on the Galapagos Islands has erupted for the first time in three decades, threatening the local ecosystem, in particular the endangered pink iguana.

The Ecuadoran island's Wolf volcano began spewing ash and lava in the early hours of May 25, local authorities said. The volcano, which is located on Isabela Island and is just over a mile high, is the tallest point in the Galapagos, which consists of 19 islands.

The archipelago is famous around the world for its role in helping Charles Darwin to formulate his theory of evolution, after the English naturalist visited the islands on the HMS Beagle in 1835.

Watch amazing footage of the Wolf volcano erupting:

Following the eruption, the Galapagos National Park said on Twitter: "The Wolf volcano is not located near a populated area. There is not risk for the human population. This is the only population of pink iguanas in the world."

The islands have a human population of around 25,000 people, but the Galápagos Pink Land Iguana is extremely small and prone to sudden demographic, genetic and environmental changes.


The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species notes that eruptions from the Wolf volcano may have caused local extinctions of the land iguana on Isabela Island.

However, the Environment Ministry said that the lava from the volcano was flowing down the southern face, while the pink iguanas inhabit the northern side of the Wolf volcano.

Sunset at Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, in San Cristobal island, Galapagos Archipelago.

However, if the lava reaches the sea, it could harm local marine life.