What’s so Special about Robinson Crusoe Island, Chile?

Located in the Pacific Ocean between the Andes and Oceania, the island of Robinson Crusoe, Chile has a unique flora which draws from these two distinct ecozones. The island was once dotted with endemic palm, sandalwood trees, colorful nectar-bearing plants, and edible “cabbage palms” (a type of overgrown daisy). Several unique plants have been lost forever and many more are on the brink of extinction due to herbivory by introduced animals and competition with invasive plants. The forest plays an important role in maintaining a healthy island, preventing erosion, and storing fresh water for the human and animal communities. Through the removal of invasive plants in sensitive forest groves, we are working with partners to preserve this extraordinary ecosystem and restore the balance of nature.

Ubicada en el Océano Pacífico entre Los Andes y Oceanía, la isla de Robinson Crusoe, Chile, tiene una flora única que proviene de estas dos ecorregiones. La isla, en el pasado contaba con una gran cantidad de sándalos, una palma endémica, coloridas plantas con néctar, y “coles” comestibles. Muchas plantas únicas se han perdido para siempre y muchas más están al borde de la extinción debido a la herbívora de animales introducidos y la competencia con plantas invasoras. El bosque juega un rol importante para mantener una isla saludable, prevenir la erosión, y almacenar agua dulce para las comunidades de animales y seres humanos. A través de la remoción de plantas invasoras en lugares sensibles del bosque, trabajamos con socios para preservar este ecosistema único y restaurar el balance de la naturaleza.

Island Conservation Science Robinson Crusoe Island Forest Irene Espinosa

Forest on Robinson Crusoe Island, Chile. Photo: Irene Espinosa/Island Conservation

About Diego Tabilo

Diego studied engineering in natural renewable resources at the University of Chile. He is currently finishing his thesis about the different pathways in private-sector activities for exotic-species introduction in the Juan Fernández archipelago and the willingness of these enterprises to collaborate in biosecurity.

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