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Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria More Prevalent in Galápagos Wildlife Living Close to Humans

Date: February 1, 2012

Reptile Magazine reported this week that land and marine iguanas —as well as giant tortoises — living next to tourist sites or human settlements on the Galápagos Islands are more likely to harbor antibiotic-resistant bacteria than those that live in more remote or protected locations. 

Although further studies are needed to better understand how proximity to humans may increase disease risk in endemic Galápagos wildlife, the finding underscores what researchers have known for a long time: that the Galápagos are the perfect place to study ecology and evolution — and to work to solve environmental challenges.

Feature image: Land and marine iguanas that live in proximity to humans are more likely to have antibiotic-resistant bacteria than those living in more remote regions. ©John T. Andrews

Candice Gaukel Andrews

A multiple award-winning author and writer specializing in nature-travel topics and environmental issues, Candice has traveled around the world, from the Arctic Circle to Antarctica, and from New Zealand to Scotland's far northern, remote regions. Her assignments have been equally diverse, from covering Alaska’s Yukon Quest dogsled race to writing a history of the Galapagos Islands to describing and photographing the national snow-sculpting competition in her home state of Wisconsin. In addition to being a five-time book author, Candice's work has also appeared in several national and international publications, such as The Huffington Post and Outside Magazine Online. To read her web columns and see samples of her nature photography, visit her website at and like her Nature Traveler Facebook page at


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