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Island Journey: Dive Into the Restoration of Floreana Island, Galapagos

Take a trek through Floreana Island, Galapagos to meet the community, learn about the project, and explore the challenges that lie ahead.

Today we are traveling to Floreana Island in the Galapagos Archipelago, but did you miss our first or second island journey? Not a problem! You can catch up to learn about the hope island restoration offers for curbing the extinction crisis and the implications it can have for coral reef health.

In week one of the Island Journey series, David Will revealed the incredible recovery and outsized impact that island restoration can provide for biodiversity conservation. Islands host 20% of global biodiversity and by focusing on restoring these hotspots, we can save a significant proportion of highly threatened species. Today, we are joined by Karl Campbell and his team to share the story of one such island, the Island of Floreana in the Galapagos.

Floreana Island is home to a community of 140 people that rely on tourism and local agriculture. As you travel through Floreana, keep an eye out for the incredible diversity of birds, vegetation, and giant tortoises. Your travels will take you up into the highlands to visit the farms of community members before taking a step back to understand the global scale of island restoration and a conservation tool.

Restoration of Floreana is at its heart a community-driven conservation initiative designed to not only protect threatened wildlife but to enhance local agriculture and protect the livelihoods of the community. Island Conservation’s Paula Castano will share her work with Floreana’s endemic Medium Tree Finch and Victor Carrion will walk guests through the infrastructure and nuanced aspects of restoration, designed to serve the community.

Working with the community to restore Floreana has been an incredibly rewarding project, but the restoration of large, inhabited islands is complex. As conservationists continue to expand the scope and scale of island conservation, restoration will take place on more islands like Floreana. This will require advances in technology, enabling us to restore islands faster, cheaper, and more effectively. On our journey today, you will also hear from some of our partners who are dedicated to advancing the tools we have available in order to prevent extinction on Floreana and beyond.

Want to learn more? Check out the previous Island Journey where Island Conservation staff explore the significant impact of island restoration and go beyond the terrestrial and dive into the nearshore marine environment.

If you enjoyed this Island Journey series, make sure you are subscribed to the Island Conservation Newsletter to keep up-to-date on future Journeys.

Featured photo: Road to the highlands on Floreana Island. Credit: Island Conservation

About Emily Heber

Emily is a recent graduate from UC Santa Barbara with a BS in Zoology. As a student, she discovered that she had a passion for the conservation of endangered species and their ecosystems. Her background in informal education has allowed her the opportunity to share her passion for animals with others, something she seeks to continue doing while working with the communication team. In her spare time, Emily enjoys exploring the amazing hiking trails found in Santa Cruz and tries to SCUBA dive whenever possible. Emily is excited to join the Island Conservation team and to help share the amazing work that is being done here.

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