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What Would Darwin Think? Man vs. Nature in the Galapagos

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School Bd/College/University DVD: $175
K-12 Single School DVD: $89
Public Library (HUO) DVD: $89


Grade Level: JrH-Adult
Producer: Video Project
Closed Captioned: Yes
Running Time: 25 mins
Country of Origin: United States
Study Guide: No

Copyright Date: 2010
Available in French: No

In 1835, Charles Darwin first visited the island archipelago of the Galapagos, home to the most perfectly preserved biodiversity on the planet. It became famous as the inspiration for his theory of evolution.

If Darwin were to return today, he would find that the Galapagos have become a major tourist mecca with the resulting human impact -- one aspect of evolution he may not have anticipated.

Filmmaker Jon Bowermaster explores the major threats to the Galapagos’ unique biodiversity, including expanding tourism, invasive species, and illegal fishing, which is decimating the marine preserve.

About 200,000 visitors a year now bring in over $500 million annually. A province of Ecuador, the islands also house over 40,000 permanent residents. Too many people are bringing too many of their goods and species from the outside world, threatening the future of this one-of-a-kind place. As human expansion continues, the Galapagos is at risk of losing its most precious natural resource - the most unique collection of endemic species anywhere in the world.

Bowermaster provides a first-hand look at human impact in the Galapagos and talks with a variety of people who are struggling to balance their economic interests with the need to preserve this unique environment -- fishermen, tourism operators, conservationists and local residents.

The future of the Galapagos is seen by many as a kind of barometer for the world. Will they inspire a new way of thinking about preserving biodiversity, as they inspired Darwin’s theory of evolution? 

"Highly recommended. Beautiful....Filled with breathtaking views of land, sea, and wildlife, this film could stand on its aesthetic quality alone. Add the thought-provoking concepts that human life introduces, and you have a winning program suitable for any audience."
- Library Journal 

"Recommended. The film provides a balance of breathtaking scenery and disturbing footage of seals sunning on graffiti-covered rocks or Darwin's finches dead alongside a busy highway. Viewers are introduced to numerous viewpoints and issues through interviews with marine biologists, local businessmen, park rangers, government officials, farmers, and World Wildlife fund representatives. The film is appropriate for high school and college classes. Instructors could use this film as a case study for international environmental policy."
- Educational Media Reviews Online

Winner, Best Environmental Film, Vancouver Int’l Film Festival

Official Selection, San Francisco Ocean Film Festival
Official Selection, Wild & Scenic Film Festival 
Official Selection, Blue Ocean Film Festival

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