Bartolomé Island

Bartolomé Island, Ecuador

Bartolomé Island

Bartolomé Island is a volcanic islet just off the east coast of Santiago Island in the Galápagos Islands group. it is one of the younger islands in the Galápagos archipelago. This island, and neighbouring Sulivan Bay on Santiago (James) island, are named after a lifelong friend of Charles Darwin, Sir Bartholomew James Sulivan, who was a lieutenant aboard HMS Beagle. Today Sulivan Bay is often misspelled Sullivan Bay. This island is one of the few that is home to the Galápagos penguin which is the only wild penguin species to live on the equator. The green turtle is another animal that resides on the island.

The northern beach is a popular snorkelling site where visitors have the opportunity to swim with fish, sea lions and Galapagos Penguins. Much larger animals can be found near the southern beach including stingrays, spotted eagle rays, white-tipped sharks, and black-tipped sharks.

Little vegetation grows in this barren place. Mangroves border the beach and the small shrub tiguilia grows in the volcanic sands. The seeds and tiny white flowers of the chamaesycae provide food for the island's finch. These plants are common to arid regions and are able to survive in these harsh volcanic conditions.

Seasonally Bartolome is the mating and nesting site for the green sea turtles. Very little was once known of these enchanting creatures of the sea, they lived secretive lives only surfacing to breathe. In recent years, sea turtles have been the subjects of a variety of international studies.

The Galapagos Green Sea Turtle frequents the Galapagos Islands mating in the waters and laying eggs in the sands of the beaches. Green sea turtles do not mate for life or form bonds with their mates. Both the males and females of the species have many partners each season. Peak mating occurs between November and January.