Should the world celebrate the 200th anniversary today of the birth of English naturalist Charles Darwin by working to limit the number of tourists visiting the Galapagos Islands or Antarctica to protect their spectacular wildlife?
Would that help elephant seals like this one above on the Antarctic Peninsula slumber more peacefully? And would it cause less disruption for marine iguanas, below right, on Santa Cruz island in the Galapagos?
The Galapagos in the Pacific Ocean gave Darwin insights into evolution on his famed voyage around the world aboard The Beagle. Many species — from mockingbirds to tortoises – differ from those on the South American mainland. For a story, click here.
And Antarctica, which wasn’t even discovered when Darwin was born on Feb. 12, 1809, is the world’s last big wilderness.
About 39,000 tourists are likely to visit Antarctica this current summer season, down from a record 46,000 a year ago and interrupting a fast-rising trend in the past couple of decades, according to the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators. For a story, click here. Recession has hit bookings of trips that cost thousands of dollars.