A Guide To The Galapagos Islands Animals
galapagos islands animals sea lions

The Galapagos Islands are the perfect destination for all animal lovers. Many visitors to the islands are pleasantly surprised to discover that not only is there an abundance of wildlife, but they are also very tolerant of human presence and even quite friendly. This makes visiting the island such a treat for those who love to see exotic creatures. Photographers and tourists are particularly pleased at how close they can approach the animals as they have no natural fear towards visitors.

galapagos islands animals
Galapagos Land Iguana – Isabela Island

If you are an animal lover who looks forward to knowing more about the plentiful wildlife you can expect to see when you visit the Galapagos Islands, here is a guide to some of the wildlife that can be found here in Galapagos.


The Diverse Species of the Galapagos Islands

A fascinating fact about most of the life forms found on the islands is that they likely got there by accident; from a long sea voyage and survived the trip despite the lack of fresh water and food and exposure to saltwater. As a result, the species now found on the Galapagos Islands are the ancestors of those that could survive harsh conditions.

Today, here are the recorded number of species for the Galapagos Islands.

Mammals: 32 species recorded
Reptiles: 28 species recorded
Darwin Finches: 13 sub-species recorded
Sea Birds: 42 species recorded
Shore Birds: 34 species recorded
Water Birds: 21 species recorded
Land Birds: 49 species recorded


The 6 Most Unique Animals of the Galapagos Islands

The Galapagos Islands is a bucket list destination for any animal lover and amateur naturalist because of its unique wildlife. Here are the 6 most unique creatures of the Galapagos Islands:

The iconic Galapagos Tortoises are the largest tortoises in the world with potential lifespans that exceed 170 years.

The unusual, yet incredible Marine Iguana is the only existing marine lizard on Earth

The Flightless Cormorant is the only cormorant in the world that has lost its ability to fly making it the largest and heaviest cormorant species in the world.

The famous Galapagos Finch played a role in the development of Darwin’s theory of natural selection.

With their recognizable signature blue feet, the Blue-Footed Boobies have a very fascinating mating ritual that is very entertaining to witness.

The Lava Lizards are one of the most commonly found animals found in the Galapagos and have remarkably adapted to radiation.


In-depth Guide to the Galapagos Animals

While spotting one of the top 6 unique animals found in the Galapagos is truly a treat, expect to see many more of the fascinating wildlife when you visit the islands. Don’t be surprised to see the friendly Galapagos Sea Lions lazing around on the benches at the ports as the tourists arrive. And watch out for the sea turtles that may swim alongside you when you go snorkeling or for a dive.

Here is an in-depth list of the other wildlife you can expect to see when you visit the Galapagos:


galapagos islands animals sea lions
Galapagos Sea Lions in Devil´s Crown

Sea lions

  • Galapagos Sea Lion
  • Galapagos Fur Seal

Beaked Whales

  • Blainville’s Beaked Whale
  • Cuvier’s Whale


  • Short Finned Pilot Whale
  • Killer Whale
  • False Killer Whale
  • Melon Headed Whale


  • Bottled Nose Dolphin
  • Common Dolphin

Rorqual Whales

  • Minke Whale
  • Sei Whale
  • Byrde’s Whale
  • Fin Whale
  • Blue Whale
  • Humpback Whale


  • Red Bats
  • Hoary Bats

Rodents and Rats



  • Giant Tortoise
  • Lonesome George Tortoise

Land Iguanas

  • Land Iguana
  • Pink Land Iguana
  • Santa Fe Land Iguana

Lava Lizards
Sea Snakes
Sea Turtle
Marine Iguanas

Darwin Finches

Yellow Wabler
Warbler Finch
Large Ground Finch
Vampire Finch
Medium Ground Finch
Small Ground Finch
Large Tree Finch
Cactus Finch
Medium Tree Finch
Vegetarian Finch
Small Tree Finch
Woodpecker Finch
Mangrove Finch
Large Cactus Finch

galapagos islands animals wabler
Juvenile Yellow Wabler – Galapagos


Land Birds

Diurnal Raptors

  • Ospreys
  • Peregrine Falcons
  • Galapagos Hawk

Larger Land Birds

  • Galapagos Dove
  • Belted Kingfisher

Smaller Land Birds

  • Vermilion Flycatcher
  • Yellow Warbler
  • Bobolinks


  • Barn Owl
  • Short Eared Owl

Aeriel Feeders

  • Galapagos Martin

Shore Birds

Rails and Crakes

  • Galapagos Rail
  • Paint-Billed Crake
  • Common Gallinule

White Cheeked Pintail Duck
Sanderlings, Phalaropes, and Allies

  • Rudy Turnstone
  • Wandering Tatler
  • Sanderling
  • Whimbrel
  • Red-necked Phalarope

Pied Billed Grebe
Black Necked Stilt
Herons and Egrets

Sea Birds

Storm Petrels
Flightless Cormorant
Brown Pelican
Shearwaters and Petrels
Galapagos Penguin

  • Common Noddy
  • Common Tern
  • Sooty Tern
  • Royal Tern

Tropic Birds

  • Blue Footed Boobie
  • Red Footed Boobie
  • Nazca Boobie

Frigate Birds

  • Magnificent Frigate Bird
  • Great Frigate Bird


galapagos islands animals boobie
Blue Footed Boobie Galapagos

There are so many fascinating animals to see when you visit the Galapagos. Best of all, these animals are incredibly used to human visitors making the majority of them approachable.

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Nature Galapagos & Ecuador


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