Galápagos Conservancy, Galápagos National Park Directorate Expand Partnership

A new agreement between Galápagos Conservancy and the Galápagos National Park Directorate launches a new phase of a historic conservation collaboration.

SANTA CRUZ, GALÁPAGOS, October 22, 2021 – Galápagos Conservancy and the Galápagos National Park Directorate (GNPD) have announced the launch of Iniciativa Galápagos, a major expansion of their decade-long partnership to protect and restore the Galápagos Islands.

Iniciativa Galápagos replaces and expands upon the Giant Tortoise Restoration Initiative, a joint effort between Galápagos Conservancy and the GNPD that has become one of the most successful species and ecosystem restoration programs in the world. The new program will continue to focus on the restoration of Giant Tortoises across the Galápagos Archipelago and will also develop innovative scientific solutions for the management of the critically endangered Pink Land Iguana, the Opuntia Cactus, and other native wildlife and plant species.

“After more than 10 years of collaboration with Galápagos Conservancy, we are thrilled that this agreement strengthens our partnership to restoring the ecosystems of Galápagos through the management of populations of Giant Tortoises, Pink Land Iguanas, and other priority species,” said Danny Rueda, Director of the Galápagos National Park Directorate.

As part of the agreement, the GNPD will facilitate all Galápagos Conservancy research through the use of boats, remote field bases, labs, and other infrastructure, as well as assign Park Rangers to assist in the execution of research alongside Galápagos Conservancy scientists. Galápagos Conservancy will lead joint field research activities, invest in visiting researcher and volunteer programs, and provide training and technical guidance to the GNPD in the restoration and management techniques of the target species.

Beginning in 2022, the enhanced collaboration will feature an innovative Adopt-a-Tortoise initiative, a science tech-meets-philanthropy program that will allow supporters to sponsor the rearing of juvenile Giant Tortoises and track the movement of their symbolic “adoptees” for decades after their release into the wild via GPS.

“This landmark agreement starts a new era of collaboration and cooperation,” said Dr. Paul Salaman, President of Galápagos Conservancy. “With Galápagos Conservancy’s major commitment to providing funding and scientific expertise to the National Park, we reaffirm and strengthen our leadership role in rewilding the endangered species of Galápagos, including the Pink Land Iguana and all 12 extant Giant Tortoise species.”