Isla Española, also known as Hood Island (named by the English after Viscount Samuel Hood), is considered to be one of the oldest Galápagos Islands with an estimated age of over three million years. The island is a classic shield volcano, created from a single caldera in the centre. Over thousands of years the island moved away from the Galápagos hot spot, where it was formed and the volcano became extinct. Erosion began to occur and the island is now one of the flattest in the archipelago with the lowest elevation.
Española is both the southernmost and one of the most isolated islands in the archipelago. Due to its distance from other islands, Española has a large number of endemic species, including the Española mocking bird, the Española lava lizards and the waved albatross. The Española giant tortoise is also an endemic species that was saved from the brink of extinction with only four individuals remaining in the 1970s. Thanks to a long term conservation and repopulation programme the thousandth Española tortoise was successfully repatriated to the island in 2000.