Charles Darwin Foundation issues Alert on Galapagos conservation status

The Charles Darwin Foundation presented the document “Alert on the state of conservation of the natural capital of Galapagos Islands” to his board members. This technical report expresses the institutional position of the Darwin Foundation in relation to the current situation of the most representative biodiversity in the archipelago, based on the results of scientific research being carried out in the Galapagos Islands. The alert calls for more awareness to the fragile situation of the natural capital of Galapagos and the threats that exist for the conservation of its unique ecosystems.

In a recent study by scientists from the Charles Darwin Foundation, Williams College in the United States, Mystic Seaport, along with the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC), reported March 28 that the Galapagos Islands have 10 times more invasive species than originally believed.

Ascidea, marine invasive species in Galapagos
Ascidea, marine invasive species in Galapagos. Photo by: Inti Keith, CDF.


This study was published in the Aquatic Invasions Journal, a journal of INVASIVESNET, which documents 53 non-native species recorded by scientific studies. Previously only 5 species of marine invaders had been identified on the islands. The researchers suggest that, based on these new findings, the number and potential impact of non-native marine species in tropical waters around the world has been significantly underestimated.

The sustainable development model for Galapagos has been the format promoted by the political, economic and conservation discourse. This document calls for reconsideration of the concept of negotiating what is "sustainable" and what is "development" for the islands.

The results of the Alert correspond to the scientific research projects that the Charles Darwin Research Station (CDRS) is currently developing in collaboration with other academic and research centers.

The statement of the Charles Darwin Foundation (CDF) are supported by these scientific findings and with the necessary urgency. The results correspond to the information published in scientific articles and other information formats available in digital and/or printed form.


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.

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The ‘Charles Darwin Foundation for the Galapagos Islands’, in French ‘Fondation Charles Darwin pour les îles Galapagos”, Association internationale sans but lucratif (AISBL), has its registered office at 54 Avenue Louise, 1050 Brussels, Belgium. Trade Registry # 0409.359.103

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