A Galapagos Land Iguana grins ever so slightly for the camera Photo by Jeff Ashwell

Mission & History

Mission & History

A Galapagos Land Iguana grins ever so slightly for the camera Photo by Jeff Ashwell


The mission of Galapagos Conservancy is to advance and support the conservation of the unique biodiversity and ecosystems of Galapagos through directed research, conservation management, informed public policy, and building a sustainable society.


Galapagos Conservancy (GC) is the only US organization focused exclusively on protecting the unique ecosystems and biological integrity of the Galapagos archipelago.

GC was created through the merger of two institutions, the Darwin Scientific Foundation (DSF), founded in 1985, and Charles Darwin Foundation, Inc. (CDF, Inc.), founded in 1992.

Although DSF and CDF, Inc. were two separate organizations with different Boards of Directors, they shared an Executive Director. In 2001, the institutions merged and became CDF, Inc., a Delaware public charity. Beginning in 2001, CDF, Inc. took a more proactive role in targeting funding and other resources not only for biodiversity conservation but also for social science research. In 2006, CDF, Inc. changed its name to Galapagos Conservancy to better reflect its mandate. With this change, GC became even more self-directed in its program activities.

For more than 25 years, GC has worked with Galapagos-based, national, and international organizations and individuals to ensure the scientific research needed for policy, decision making, and conservation management, and to support key management institutions working in Galapagos to help ensure that they remain strong and effective.

GC has provided financial and technical support to Galapagos conservation, channeling tens of millions of dollars in private support, and building an endowment, which now stands at $4.2MM in net worth. The organization’s single focus has allowed it to target its communications, funding, and technical resources to projects specific to Galapagos biodiversity conservation and to work with organizations and individuals whose vision and mission are aligned with these goals.

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