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The Galápagos Archipelago is one of the best studied and protected tropical island ecosystems in the world.

Perhaps the best known of the South American islands are those of the Galápagos Archipelago. The Galápagos Archipelago consists of 19 main islands and many small rocks and islets. Nearly the entire archipelago is part of the protected Galápagos National Park (GNP). These islands, and the surrounding marine reserve, support an extraordinarily rich abundance and diversity of native and endemic plants and animals. The volcanic processes that formed the islands, together with their isolation, led to the development of unusual animal life – such as the hybrid marine/land iguana, the giant tortoise and the many species of finch that inspired Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection following his visit in 1835.

Learn about some recent work IC and our partners have done to protect species on these islands by clicking here and here.

Sombrero Chino (foreground) and Bainbridge islets in the background, Galápagos
Still, nearly 60% of the endemic and native plant species are threatened, with 80% of the critically endangered plants species in islands inhabited by people. The most important threat to native species in these islands is introduced invasive species. Since the arrival of humans to the archipelago, seven vertebrate species have become extinct, while 40% of the still existing 96 species are endangered. Invasive species are the primary threat to their survival. Island Conservation is committed to working with partners, such as the Galapagos National Park Service (GNPS), Charles Darwin Foundation (CDF), Machalilla National Park Service (MNPS), and Equilibrio Azul, to restore this important region. Protecting these islands has an immense biodiversity benefit for the Galápagos.
Vulnerable Galapagos Marine Iguana. Island Conservation helped protect this threatened species by removing invasive rats (which devour the iguana's eggs and young) from islands in the Galápagos Archipelago.

Featured Species
No longer able to raise its young in the wild, this Critically Endangered species is in urgent need of a permanent solution.

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