Galapagos Species Checklist

Welcome to the Galapagos Species Checklist of the Charles Darwin Foundation, our central reference for all species known from the Galapagos. This online database is worldwide unique as the first attempt to establish a comprehensive taxonomic register of all species reported from this tropical archipelago.

<em>Marasmius cladophyllus</em>, humid highlands, Santa Cruz.

Marasmius cladophyllus, humid highlands, Santa Cruz.

The Galapagos are among the best studied tropical island ecosystems in the world. For more than 50 years, since the foundation of a permanent research station on Santa Cruz, in the center of the archipelago, scientists have studied Galapagos biodiversity.
Nevertheless, the CDF Galapagos Species Checklist highlights that our knowledge of species that inhabit this archipelago remains incomplete.

Too often attention focused on iconic and emblematic species characteristic for this archipelago; less conspicuous species were frequently ignored. This bias must not continue!
For the conservation of the archipelago and its marine reserve, ecologists and conservation manager rely on objective information about all functional components of Galapagos ecosystems. It is necessary to establish a baseline of all species and initiate inventories that target groups that continue to remain unknown.

Pinzón Galapagos Tortoise(<em>Chelonoidis ephippium</em>) <br> with lichen (<em>Lecanora sulfurescens</em>).

Pinzón Galápagos Tortoise (Chelonoidis ephippium) with lichen (Lecanora sulfurescens).

Our CDF Galapagos Species Checklist includes references to many different organisms.
It is presented here in a new way: all checklists include the taxonomic classification of the species, but the lists are generally organized in broad, thematic categories - like marine or terrestrial invertebrates. Many of our categories are informal, ecological groups, such as pathogens or parasites, lichens, or plankton species.
This highlights that taxonomy, as the science of biodiversity, has a mandate to not only to classify but also to integrate descriptive and ecological information about species.

Science in Galapagos is as diverse as the organisms that occur here. Research that integrates scientific information about the ecology of the archipelago is a necessity.
Compiling these checklists is a first step. Building this inventory, the Charles Darwin Foundation is committed to establish a Census of Galapagos Biodiversity, not only a taxonomic register, but a knowledge management system that provides comprehensive information about Galapagos species: their ecological requirements and distribution, threat status for native and endemic species and risk assessment for introduced ones, information on the ecological role of each species and its function within the ecosystem.

Galapagos Whale Shark (<em>Rhincodon typus</em>)

Galapagos Whale Shark (Rhincodon typus).

Compiling this biodiversity vision is far from complete; it represents a huge challenge. Today the CDF Galapagos Species Checklist presents a first glance of what we want to achieve. We began compiling this list in 2008 with the integration of specimen records from our CDF Natural History Collections. Celebrating our 50th anniversary in 2009 an online version was launched that still did not include the large majority of records published in the scientific literature. Today, CDF scientists and collaborators worldwide continue to compile what is known and our website is regularly updated.

The Galapagos might be among the best studied tropical island ecosystems, yet what we know continues to be incomplete. Any estimate needs to be treated with much caution, but our inventory indicates that more than 50% of all species in the Galapagos are likely to remain unknown and in the least studied species groups, such as fungi, it is conceivable that we currently know less than 20% of their diversity that occurs in Galapagos.

Please be sure to credit the researchers who spent endless hours assembling this information. For each segment of the CDF Galapagos Species Checklist, names of editors, authors, and contributors are provided, and an example of how to cite this data is given below. Whenever you use the CDF Galapagos Species Checklist, please be certain to cite this source!

You are welcome to download and use this information acknowledging the origin of the data.
This list should be cited as follows:

Bungartz, F., Herrera, H.W., Jaramillo, P., Tirado, N., Jiménez-Uzcátegui, G., Ruiz, D., Guézou, A. & Ziemmeck, F. (eds.) (2009). Charles Darwin Foundation Galapagos Species Checklist - Lista de Especies de Galápagos de la Fundación Charles Darwin. Charles Darwin Foundation / Fundación Charles Darwin, Puerto Ayora, Galapagos: Last updated 18 Jan 2018.

Financial Support

American Bird Conservancy, Basler Stiftung, Conservation International (CI), Cybec Foundation, Darwin Initiative, Darwin Trust, Erwin Warth Stiftung, Frankfurt Zoological Society, Friends of Galapagos in The Netherlands, Friends of Galapagos New Zealand, Galapagos Conservancy, Galapagos National Park, Global Environmental Facility (GEF), Heinz Sielmann Stiftung, INCOFISH, J.Q. Worthington Foundation Inc., Japanese Embassy in Ecuador, Kenneth & Diane Saladin, Lindblad/National Geographic Fund, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), National Geographic Society, National Science Foundation (NSF), Pew Charitable Trust, Sea World, Steppes Discovery, Swarovski, Swiss Friends of Galapagos, The Bay and Paul Foundations, The Benificia Foundation, The Intrepid Foundation, UNF, USAID.

CDF projects are indebted to the fundraising effort of our Friends of Galapagos Organizations (FOGOs), located in many countries all around the world. FOGOs regularly support the Charles Darwin Foundation and without their contributions, this research would not have been possible. Additionally, we would like to acknowledge the continued support by numerous donors who have over the past decades supported a wide variety of CDF research projects in the Galapagos Islands. Many of these projects contributed to the CDF Galapagos Species Checklist indirectly even though their primary objective was not for taxonomic work. We gratefully acknowledge the continued support of all our donors.