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A volcano has erupted on an island in the Galapagos that is home to a critically endangered iguana, the Galapagos National Park announced on Friday

 

The Wolf volcano’s slopes host the pink iguana, only 211 of which were reported to be left on Isabela, the largest island in the Galapagos archipelago, as of last August.

The volcano, the highest of the Galapagos, is some 100 kilometres (62 miles) from the nearest human settlement.

In a statement shared on Facebook on Friday, the Galapagos National Park said the volcano was emitting plumes of smoke and ash several thousand metres high, which were moving towards the north side of the island where no people are at risk.

The national park said it sent eight park rangers and scientists working with the pink iguanas to check out the situation on Friday morning as a matter of precaution.

“The team confirmed that the habitat of these species is far from the eruption and the impact zone, so no additional protection measures are currently being considered,” the statement read.

Located in the Pacific approximately 1,000km (600 miles) off the coast of Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands are a protected wildlife area and home to unique species of flora and fauna.

The archipelago was made famous by British geologist and naturalist Charles Darwin‘s observations on evolution there.

The area also hosts yellow iguanas and the famous Galapagos giant tortoises.

The pink iguana was first spotted by park rangers in 1986 and classified as a separate species to other land iguanas on the Galapagos in 2009, according to the Galapagos Conservation Trust (GCT), a UK-registered charity that works on conservation on the islands.

Describing the iguanas as “one of the most vulnerable species in Galapagos”, the trust said on its website that only approximately 200 of them are left on the island, confined to a 25sq-km (9.6sq miles) area on the slopes of the Wolf volcano.