Sunday, April 27, 2014
The Galapagos are home to many endangered species, but now, a new species joins the list. Boobies play a key role of being part of the Galapagos ecosystem. The Blue-footed booby has declined more than 50% in the last 20 years. Researchers believe that the decline is due to a decrease in sardines, the source of food for the boobies. The decline was first noticed in 1997. Researchers say "until 1997, there were literally thousands of boobies at these breeding sites, and hundreds of nests full of hatching chicks." The question still remains is, how is there a decline of sardines? Some of the possible reasons include overfishing, climate change, a new species eating more of the fish, and other reasons. The main problem is that there is not sufficient offspring to stay stable. Id there is not enough booby chicks, the majority of the flock gets old, and do not get replaced by younger ones. Also, the older boobies cannot reproduce after a certain age. It is not proven that it is because of humans, but if it is, we need to do something about it. Even if we are not to blame, we need to give the best we can to protect one of the important animals of our Earth.