Whale Shark in the Galapagos Marine Reserve

Whale shark in the Galapagos Marine Reserve. Courtesy of the Charles Darwin Foundation.

Whale sharks are frequent visitors to the Galapagos Marine Reserve. They can grow to forty feet in length and can weigh as much as 47,000 pounds, making them the biggest fish in the sea, by a long shot.

Recent research conducted by the Charles Darwin Foundation (CDF) and partner organizations has shown that up to 90% of whale sharks in the reserve are pregnant females, a phenomenon that appears to occur only in the Galapagos Islands. The CDF is studying the sharks’ residence and migratory movements in the GMR and the Eastern Tropical Pacific, especially in relation to the spawning and aggregation activity of other fish, to find out where the sharks give birth. What they find may bolster future efforts to protect these magnificent animals within the reserve and beyond.

Check out this video to learn more: