On May 25, Wolf Volcano in the Galapagos islands erupted to life, threatening the fragile ecosystem in the region. The volcano, which rises 1.1 miles above the surface of Isabela Island, erupted shortly before dawn.
Isabela Island is the largest island in the Galapagos archipelago, and is home to a diverse collection of plants and animals. South of the volcano, by about 70 miles, is Puerto Villamil, where a majority of the island's 2,200 residents reside. Though the human population of the island is not endangered by the eruption, but it could be a different story for the iguanas.
"The Wolf volcano is not located near a populated area. There is not risk for the human population. This is the only population of pink iguanas in the world," the Galapagos National Park tweeted in Spanish.
The world's only population of pink iguanas was out of harm's way by early reports, as the flow of lava was initially headed in a southwest direction, and these animals live northwest of the molten rivers of rock.
In addition to pink iguanas, Isabela Island is also home to unique giant turtles and yellow iguanas. They live in a protected area that stretches for nearly 3,100 square miles, covering a habitat that is home to 50 species of birds and other animals that cannot be found anywhere else on the planet.
The government of Ecuador did not have an immediate comment about the impact the eruption of Wolf Volcano might have on the delicate ecosystem in the area.
Unusual geological activity was recorded on Sierra Volcano on Isabela Island in April. Recent eruptions have also taken place in Chile, which also lies along the pacific Ring of Fire, an entire line of volcanoes. Wolf Volcano last erupted 33 years ago.
"In addition to the year-round residents of the Galapagos, more than 200,000 tourists visit the islands each year, making it one of Ecuador's main tourist attractions," Telesur reported. "Tourism to the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador rose by 6 percent in 2014 based on Galapagos National Park (GNP) data."
No tourist traffic was affected in the early hours of the event.
Charles Darwin is the most famous visitor to the Galapagos Islands, on which he landed in 1835 during his voyage aboard the HMS Beagle. The vast number of species in this island chain helped inspire the naturalist to formulate his theory of evolution.