The Flightless Cormorant evolved in an isolated island environment—the Galapagos Islands—that was free of land predators. As a result, the birds had no need to fly and eventually the species became flightless. However, the Galapagos Islands have not remained free of predators, and, consequently, this cormorant is now one of the world's rare birds.
Through the years, dogs, cats and pigs were introduced to the islands and have had a drastic effect on the cormorant population. Human interference has also affected their numbers; they do not seem to fear humans and so are easily approached and picked up. In 2000, a census found only 1500 birds. Survival of the species is endangered.
Flightless Cormorants range from 90 to 100 cm (35 to 39 in.) in length. Their wings are only about a third of the size that would be needed for a bird of its proportions to be able to fly.