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7.8 Floreana Island

Arid zone, Transitional Zone, Scalesia Zone.

Floreana Island.

The Southernmost island of the archipelago with a land surface of 24 square kilometers and a maximum elevation of 864m, Floreana is also known as Charles.  This island has suffered the greatest impact from human activity, which reduced the population of the Charles Mockingbird (e) to 70 pairs that survive onlyin the islets Gardner and Champion off Floreana. Floreana is the only island where the Medium Tree Finch (e) can be seen.



Floreana Island.

Puerto Velasco Ibarra is a small village and is the only port of the Island.  It is the best starting point to visit the highlands of Floreana in the morning.   There are very few vehicles on the island, but organizing one should not be a problem. A short drive of 5.0 km from the town will take you to a point where the road stops climbing and levels out. This is a good place to look for the Medium Tree Finch (e). The end of the road near “El ascilo de la Paz” some 8.0 km from Puerto Velasco Ibarra, is also a good place to look for the Medium Tree Finch (e).

Once you have visited the highlands and you come back down to town, you will embark again to visit the Champion Islet.   Here a short dinghy boat circumnavigation will allow a look for the rare and restricted Charles Mockingbird. It should be noted that stepping on shore is forbidden.

After visiting Champion a good way to end the day is to visit the site known as Punta Cormorant.

The last morning in the Galápagos Islands before catching your flight back to the mainland could be spent visiting Seymour North, if your flight leaves from Baltra.

If your flight leaves from San Cristobal airport you could visit the highlands of San Cristobal.

(Click here to download Map Floreana and Champion)

Birds to look for

Floreana Island and Champion Islet

 Arid Zone (AZ), Scalesia   Forest Zone (SFZ), Transitional Zone (TZ), Sea shores (SS), Lakes (L).

Common: Brown   Pelican (endemic subspecies urinator) (SS), Galápagos Shearwater (e) (SS), Blue-footed Booby (endemic subspecies exisa), Swallow-tailed Gull,   Red-billed Tropicbird (SS), Common Noddy (endemic species galapagensis)   (SS), White-cheeked Pintail (L), Greater Flamingo (endemic subspecies  glyphorhynchus) (L), Small Ground-Finch   (e) (TZ, SFZ, AZ), Medium Ground   Finch (e) (TZ, SFZ, AZ), Small Tree Finch (e) (subspecies parvulus)   (TZ, SFZ, AZ), Yellow Warbler (TZ, SFZ, AZ).

Uncommon:   Whimbrel (SFZ, TZ, AZ, SS, L), Yellow-crowned Night-Heron (endemic subspecies pauper) (SS, L), Short-eared Owl (endemic subspecies galapagoensis) (TZ, SFZ, AZ),   Galápagos Dove (e) (TZ, SFZ, AZ), Galápagos Flycatcher (e) (TZ, SFZ, AZ), Common Cactus Finch (e) (subspecies intermedia)   (AZ), Medium Tree Finch (e) (TZ,   SFZ, AZ), Warbler Finch (e)   (subspecies ridgwayi) (TZ, SFZ, AZ).

Rare: Galápagos   Penguin (e) (SS), Paint-billed   Crake (TZ, SFZ), Dark-billed Cuckoo (TZ, SFZ, AZ), Vegetarian Finch (e) (TZ, SFZ, AZ), Large Three Finch (e) (subspecies psittacula) (TZ, SFZ, AZ), Charles Mockingbird (e) (AZ).

More in this category: « 7.7 Española Island

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Meet the Author

Lelis Navarrete – Birding tour leader. Lelis has 19 years of experience as a birding guide and naturalist in the field. He has led groups of birders throughout most of Latin America, guiding frequently in countries like his native country of Ecuador and in the Galapagos Islands, Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, Brazil and Panama. A Biology B.Sc. graduate from Universidad Católica in Quito, Lelis has supported Jocotoco Foundation since its founding in 1998 and was an active Board Member until 2010 supporting Ecuadorian bird and wildlife conservation. Lelis divides his time between his two great passions in life: birding and spending time with his wife Solange and son Fabian with whom he lives in Quito.


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