Andres Cruz

The Charles Darwin Foundation

The Charles Darwin Foundation and its Research Station are the largest and oldest science and conservation organization in Galapagos, generating groundbreaking discoveries and effective conservation focused on protecting the unique biodiversity of the Galapagos Islands.

About us

Our story

Recognizing the need to protect the fragile ecosystem of Galapagos, the Charles Darwin Foundation (CDF) was established in 1959 by a group of passionate scientists, researchers and conservationists as an international non-profit organization.

Created alongside the Galapagos National Park Directorate (GNPD), CDF was founded under the auspices of UNESCO and IUCN to provide the highest quality scientific research, technical advice, and practical expertise on conserving and protecting the archipelago.

We have since acted as the GNPD’s primary partner and the source of key research and capacity-building to direct the Park’s conservation efforts for the sustainable development of Galapagos and its local community.

A longstanding partnership with Ecuador

The Charles Darwin Foundation carries out its mission with the endorsement of an Agreement with the Ecuadorian State since 1964 that was renewed on July 29, 2016 for an additional 25 years. The new agreement ratifies the importance of the unique alliance between the Ecuadorian Government and the Charles Darwin Foundation for the conservation of the Galapagos Islands.

Our mission

The mission of the Charles Darwin Foundation and its Research Station is to tackle the greatest threats and challenges to Galapagos through scientific research and conservation action, in order to safeguard one of the world’s most important natural treasures.

Our vision

Our vision is to champion the Galapagos Islands as a global model for conservation, inspiring sustainable practices and the next generations to protect our planet's natural wonders.
Pop up Puerto Ayora_Carlos Espinosa
Carlos Espinosa-CDF

The Charles darwin research station

Our campus

The Charles Darwin Research Station (CDRS) is the scientific research campus of CDF, the largest and oldest science and conservation organization in Galapagos.

For over 60 years, CDRS has generated groundbreaking discoveries and effective conservation actions focused on protecting the unique biodiversity of the archipelago.

Juan Manuel Garcia-CDF

visit our exhibition hall

Immerse yourself in the wonders of our scientific and conservation work. Our exhibition hall is free and open year-round.

Explore our campus & facilities

Our facilities feature offices and labs, a state-of-the-art conference hall, scientist lodging and Natural History Collections.

Natural History Collections

We are the custodians of one of the world’s largest Galapagos Natural History Collections with more than 135,000 specimens.

Our impact

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previously unmapped deep-sea coral reefs discovered in 2023

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scientists with whom we collaborate around the world

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peer reviewed scientific papers published every year

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new species for science discovered in the last 4 years

Rashid Cruz-CDF

Our people

Meet our Board, leadership team and staff. Explore job opportunities and volunteering.

Andres Cruz

Protect Galapagos, Impact the World

The impact you make on this small ecosystem of enormous biodiversity is part of a larger footprint you are leaving for the world's future. Join us on our mission to safeguard one of our planet’s most important natural treasures through science and conservation action by making a donation today. Thank you for making an impact with us.