Francesca Cunninghame

Project Coordinator of Mangrove Finch

Francesca has been working at the CDRS since 2009 where she leads the Mangrove Finch Project (a bi-institutional project with the Galapagos National Park Directorate in collaboration with San Diego Zoo Global, Auckland Zoo and Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust).

The principal focus of the project is to work towards the conservation of the critically endangered mangrove finch through research followed by intensive management of its conservation.

Due to high mortality of nestlings caused by parasitism by larvae of the introduced fly Philornis downsi, since 2014 the project has conducted a head starting program (collection of eggs/young chicks from the wild, hand rearing and release of juveniles back into their natural habitat) to increase fledging success.

In addition to the Mangrove Finch Project, Francesca is involved with other land bird projects on the islands.


Re-sightings of Captive-bred Mangrove Finches

Written in collaboration with Daniela Vilema. The mangrove finch (Camarhynchus heliobates) is a critically endangered species with a population estimated at 100 individuals with fewer than 20...

A New Season of Mangrove Finches Fighting for Survival

Written in collaboration with Liza Diaz Lalova. For the third year running, the rarest of “Darwin's finches” is being captive-reared at the Charles Darwin Research Station (CDRS), the operating arm...

Mangrove Finch Conservation Workshop

A workshop "Conservation planning for the critically endangered mangrove finch (Camarhynchus heliobates) 2016 - 2020" took place in Puerto Ayora from the 15 – 18 September, 2015. Participants...

Eight Mangrove Finches Returned Home

In 2014 the collecting of eggs from the wild and captive breeding of mangrove finch chicks (Camarhynchus heliobates), a critically endangered species of the famous "Darwin's finches", began. The...

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