Lonesome George Inspires a Lifestyle Change
Life is a series of causes and effects. This idea truly hit me when I heard news that Lonesome George died this week in the Galapagos Islands. George was described as lonesome because he was the last tortoise of Pinta Island. Although researchers tried to find him mates, no offspring ever came of the relationships. I had the honor of travelling to the Galapagos Islands and meeting him in January of 2010. It was a once in a lifetime experience and it reinforced the importance of Ecotourism to me.
Ecotourism as described in How to Speak Volunteer Travel is ecologically sustainable travel with primary focus on experiencing natural areas that fosters environmental and cultural understanding, appreciation and conservation. Trips like mine with the University of St. Thomas for our J-Term studying Darwin and Biological Evolution enhance our generation’s knowledge of the environments both near and far away.
In the words of Sir Richard Branson, there is no “Planet B.” We have to take care of the one we have. This is an idea that seems to slip our minds during the whirlwind we call life. To move forward from this sad day in biological history, we must recognize what we can do to become more aware of our environments.
The Galapagos serve as a perfect example for the effects of Ecotourism. Out of the 18 islands in the Galapagos only two are inhabited by Galapagos Trails have been constructed for those interested in visiting the islands, however the majority of tourists who come to visit the islands are required to stay on their cruise ships in order to create as little foot traffic as possible.