Bartolomé Island was named after Lt. David Bartolome of the British Navy. It is a barren islet of just over one square kilometre in Sullivan Bay, to the east of Santiago Island in the Galápagos archipelago.
Galápagos penguins are the second smallest species of penguin in the world and have established a breeding colony on this island behind Pinnacle Rock. In 1982 this species suffered a massive decline during El Niño, from nearly 15,000 to less than 500, and they have been slow to recover. In July of 2008 a Plasodium parasite was found among the Galápagos penguins, giving researchers yet another cause for concern over the future of this species. Researchers are monitoring the population in Bartolomé to ensure their health and survival.
These birds are incredibly fast swimmers and dart around in the water playfully while visitors swim.