Conservation projects to save native plants and animals are well-underway in the Galápagos.
The Galápagos Islands are renowned for their astonishing biodiversity and are famous for their essential part in the development of Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution. But ever since human settlement, the Galápagos Islands have suffered ecological deterioration. Fortunately, lots of people are working hard to restore and protect these iconic islands.
Galápagos Conservation Trust’s magazine “Galápagos Matters” features conservation projects taking place on the islands and their surrounding waters. The 2016 Fall/Winter issue includes a piece by Island Conservation’s Galápagos Program Director Karl Campbell on the Floreana Restoration Project. Island Conservation is working closely with the Floreana Island local community to plan an invasive species removal project for their island. Invasive species present on the island threaten native plants and wildlife. In fact, the Critically Endangered Floreana Mockingbird, Floreana Racer (a snake), and 11 other species are no longer found on this island due to invasive species. Through invasive species removal, we can restore Floreana’s ecosystem and provide safe habitat for the return of the mockingbird, racer and other species. Karl Campbell commented:
Floreana has the highest concentration of species threatened by invasive mammals of any Galápagos Island, with 55 IUCN Red-Listed species present. It is a large, complex project, but the return on investment is huge and we’re forging a process that can be replicated on other inhabited islands. It’s really exciting.
The restoration of Floreana Island’s ecosystem will benefit not only native wildlife, but also the health, agricultural production, and tourism endeavors of the local community.
This is just one of many incredible projects being implemented in the Galápagos Islands. Learn more in Galápagos Matters
Featured photo: Floreana Island coastline. Credit: Paula Castano
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