Galápagos Conservancy

Honoring Galápagos National Park on its 65th Anniversary

Honoring Galápagos National Park on its 65th Anniversary
Iconic Giant tortoises in the highlands of Santa Cruz Island, one of the protected species that inhabit Galápagos. ©Galápagos Conservancy

On this day, the 65th anniversary of the establishment of Galápagos National Park as Ecuador’s first protected area, we celebrate its profound impact on the conservation of the archipelago’s ecosystems and biodiversity. Since its inception on July 4, 1959, this national park symbolizes Ecuador’s steadfast commitment to safeguarding one of the planet’s most unique ecosystems.

Galápagos Conservancy proudly acknowledges the pivotal role of the Galápagos National Park Directorate (GNPD) as the steward of this Natural World Heritage Site. Through our joint initiative with the GNPD – the Galápagos Initiative – we have achieved significant milestones in preserving the natural beauty and biodiversity of the archipelago.

Our General Director, Dr. Washington Tapia, stated: “As our primary ally, we work closely with the GNPD. Park rangers are invaluable human assets in fulfilling our shared conservation mission. Together, we continuously strive towards ecosystem restoration and recovery of ecologically essential species in this precious Natural World Heritage Site. Park rangers are the true conservation heroes.”

Since its inception, Galápagos National Park has earned global recognition for its exemplary management, setting a benchmark for the conservation of natural protected areas. Moreover, it has played a critical role in developing nature-based tourism, which not only supports the local economy but also ensures the long-term protection of the archipelago’s unique ecosystems.

Beyond its legal establishment, the history of Galápagos National Park is punctuated by significant conservation milestones. Since the 1930s, Ecuador has implemented measures to protect key species and areas within the archipelago. This effort culminated in the declaration of Galápagos National Park as a UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site on September 8, 1978, the first such site included in this prestigious list. Currently, 97% of Galápagos’ terrestrial area is designated as a protected zone, ensuring coexistence between human settlements and the native wildlife of Galápagos.

Galápagos Conservancy reaffirms its ongoing commitment to support the tireless efforts aimed at conserving Galápagos’ unique ecosystems. Our collaborative work with the Galápagos National Park Directorate, bolstered by the generous contributions of donors dedicated to Galápagos, allows us to implement crucial conservation actions to protect this special and magnificent territory, home to so many unique plant and animal species.

Honoring Galápagos National Park on its 65th Anniversary
The intense look of the Galápagos hawk, witnessing the unique beauty and biodiversity of the Galápagos archipelago. ©Galápagos Conservancy
Honoring Galápagos National Park on its 65th Anniversary
Aerial view of the natural lagoon on Genovesa Island, a protected area in the Galápagos archipelago. ©Galápagos Conservancy