Volcano erupts on Galapagos island home to unique pink iguanas

Reuters News
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Posted: May 25, 2015 12:32 PM

QUITO (Reuters) - A volcano perched atop one of Ecuador's Galapagos islands erupted in the early hours of Monday, the National Park said, potentially threatening a unique species of pink iguanas.

The roughly 1.7 kilometer (1.1 mile) high Wolf volcano is located on Isabela Island, home to a rich variety of flora and fauna typical of the archipelago that helped inspire Charles Darwin's theory of evolution following his 1835 visit.

"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 said on Twitter.

Ecuador's government was not immediately available for comment on potential harm to the island's ecosystem.

The park posted pictures showing lava pouring down the sides of the Wolf volcano, the Galapagos' highest point, while dark plume billowed overhead. Wolf had been inactive 33 years, according to the park.

In April, unusual activity was also reported at the Sierra volcano on the same Isabela island, the archipelago's biggest, where yellow iguanas and giant turtles also live.

The eruption in Ecuador comes on the heels of eruptions in Chile, another South American country located on the so-called Pacific Rim of Fire.

(Reporting by Alexandra Valencia; Writing by Alexandra Ulmer; Editing by Marguerita Choy)