Thegovernment in Ecuador has declared an emergency in the Galapagos islands. Aship carrying petrol which got stuck on the rocks last week may still carry athreat to the island group’s plants and animals.
The petroltanker became stranded off the island of San Cristobal on Friday. But despitehaving emptied the ship’s cargo, the authorities fear that some remaining pollutants, likemotor oil, could spill over and cause environmental damage.
They saidthey’re working toremove the vessel. This is not the first ship accident in the Galapagos. In2001, another stranded petrol tanker spilled fuel and decimated marine life.
The Galapagos are home to unique animals such as the giant tortoise, the marineiguana and the flightless cormorant. The archipelago is also known for itsendemic finches, which were studied in the 1830s by the British scientistCharles Darwin. He went on to publish On the Origin of Species, hisrevolutionary book on evolution.