The Galapagos sea lion occurs in one of the most biologically diverse areas of the world. The Galapagos Islands have long been studied and protected and were influential in the formulation of Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection. Most recently, in March 1998, a 133,000 square kilometres area was designated as the Galapagos Marine Reserve, making it one of the world's largest protected areas. Detailed conservation and research programmes have been developed, which focus on studying the islands' ecology, the effects of environmental fluctuations on species and the effects of humans on wildlife. These measures have to some extent protected this sea lion, especially from hunting. The Charles Darwin Research Centre has implemented an ecological monitoring project of the Galapagos sea-lion to determine the state and abundance of the sea lions. This project also studies the ongoing threats to this mammal and has developed simple rescue methods for injured or caught sea lions. Elsewhere in the world, sea lions are suffering dramatic population declines for unknown reasons, and so conservation measures like these, which both monitor and protect the sea lion, are invaluable in the future of the Galapagos sea lion (7).