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Ecosystem Restoration

Protecting the lush highlands of the larger Galapagos Islands is crucial for the longterm health of tortoise populations. (Photo by Greg Shenkler)

Restoring Degraded Ecosystems

Galapagos Park wardens return giant tortoises to Pinta in 2012.

The challenge. Ecological damage caused long ago by whalers, pirates and early settlers and exacerbated by more recent human activity and the presence of aggressive introduced species, has disrupted natural biological processes in Galapagos. If left unchecked, the islands will suffer irreversible losses of native and endemic wildlife.

Our approach. Galapagos Conservancy’s Ecosystem Restoration efforts seek to rebuild healthy, balanced plant and animal communities to their pre-human condition and establish management strategies to ensure the sustainability of these communities well into the future. A key component of this effort is the identification of systems and agents with historical, current, or potentially negative impacts on Galapagos ecosystems and the development of methods to reverse or control them.

Our partners. The Charles Darwin Foundation, the Galapagos National Park Directorate, local non-profit organizations, Ecuadorian agencies responsible for agriculture and the Quarantine System, and researchers from various US universities are all important partners in our Ecosystem Restoration work.

We are working closely with our partners to:

  • Complete Project Pinta, ensuring the re-establishment of a reproductive population of tortoises to restore the islands natural ecosystem functions.

    Restoring Floreana Mockingbird populations is key to Project Floreana.

  • Breed and rear tortoises with Floreana ancestry for the eventual tortoise repopulation of Floreana, and begin to plan the potential return of land iguanas to Santiago.

For more information about our work in the area of Ecosystem Restoration, send us an email.