Blog

The community in the Galapagos Islands is of great relevance in the research programs of the Charles Darwin Foundation (CDF). It is also of relevance for the natural conservation of the archipelago. Humans extract, take, protect and manage the natural resources that offer this paradise.

The Executive Directorate of the Charles Darwin Foundation identified in 2016 that it was a necessity to spread the mission of the Foundation on the different populated areas of the archipelago. For this reason, since January 2017, there is Liaison Coordinator on Isabela who has served as a...

Written with the support of Francesca Cunninghame.

The Mangrove Finch is a Critically Endangered species that is found only in a small mangrove forest on Isabela Island and it is currently highly threatened by an invasive parasitic fly called Philornis downsi. The...

I remember my first exposure to local conservation efforts in Ecuador; I must have been 9 years old, and passing by the mangrove trees still standing on the outskirts of Guayaquil, where a big sign read “Manglar es vida” Spanish for “Mangroves are life”. At this time,...

This article was co-written by Salomé Buglass.

Approximately a year ago, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between the Ecuadorian tour-company, Ecoventura, and the Charles Darwin Foundation (CDF) and which produced ‘The Galapagos Biodiversity and...

We regret to inform that on Saturday June 2nd, 2018 one of our founding members Dr. Irenäus Eibl-Eibesfeldt passed away at the age of 89 in Starnberg, Germany. He was an honorary member of our General Assembly and a very active supporter of conservation efforts in Galapagos. In fact, it...

A long-dreamed opportunity for any biologist, I finally found my way to the Galápagos Islands last March. On the second week of my new position at the research station of the Charles Darwin Foundation, we embarked on a week-long field trip to the north of the archipelago: the islands of...

The Charles Darwin Foundation (CDF), with the support of the Boninology Institute, the Japanese Association for Galápagos (JAGA) and several collaborators and authorities from Japan, carried out a student exchange program between the Galápagos and the Ogasawara Islands in Japan....

Historic records from the 1970s and 80s showed that the population number of Galvezia leucantha var. leucantha(an endemic subspecies of snapdragon) drastically declined on Isabela Island because of herbivory by introduced animals such as goats and rats (Wiggins...

The Galapagos martin (Progne modesta) is an endemic species, which means it is only found on the archipelago. Due to its low numbers, it is categorized as an endangered species by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). However, very little is known about its...

We are very pleased to announce a new partnership between The Charles Darwin Foundation for the Galapagos Islands and the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed on January 9th, 2018, which has the goal of conducting collaborative research to...

A team of expert scientists embarked on the M/V Queen Mabel this April to Darwin and Wolf to conduct surveys and asses the current state of the coral reefs of the northern part of the archipelago and continue the research on marine invasive species in the Galapagos Marine Reserve...

Written in collaboration with: Pelayo Salinas de León.

Since 2013, the Charles Darwin Research Station’s shark team, in collaboration with the Galapagos National Park Directorate, have conducted three annual trips to Darwin and Wolf to...

Do you want to visit Galapagos and help conserve the archipelago? The Ecuadorian tour-company, Ecoventura, joined forces with the Charles Darwin Foundation (CDF) in 2017 to help preserve the Enchanted Islands.

Every year, Ecoventura tries to raise at least $150,000...

When I first arrived in the Galapagos Islands in mid-2013, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to do an internship with the Charles Darwin Foundation (CDF). As odd as it sounds, I was involved in reproducing and raising an invasive fly in captivity. The particular fly we were working with,...

The Mangrove Finch (Camarhynchus heliobates), one of Darwin’s iconic finches, is a bird species found only in the dense mangrove forests of the western Galapagos Islands. At one time, these birds were found on two Galapagos Islands, Fernandina and Isabela. Today, primarily due to...

With more than 80,000 visitors annually, the Charles Darwin Research Station (CDRS) is one of the most visited places by tourists in the Galapagos Islands. The Van Straelen Interpretation Center, part of the visit to our Research Station, is a space where different exhibits about Galapagos have...

Between July and September 2017, the Galapagos Verde 2050 (#GV 2050) team, together with the entomology team of the Charles Darwin Foundation and park guards from the Galapagos National Park Directorate carried out ecological monitoring of the Opuntia echiosvar. echios...

On February 15, members of two multi-country working groups attended a workshop hosted by the Charles Darwin Foundation (CDF) and the Galapagos National Park Directorate (GNPD) to share updates on research to conserve Darwin’s finches and other Galapagos landbirds and protect them from their...

Today we pay homage to all the women who work for science and conservation in Galapagos. All departments, including Science, Administration and Executive Management, depend on an incredible team of women who work for the conservation of these fragile islands. They are a clear example of women...

Scientific knowledge about Galapagos land birds is imperative for their survival.

How many land birds are there in Galapagos and where are they found? In which ways does the parasitic Philornis downsi fly affect the archipelago’s bird populations and...

The scholarships at the Charles Darwin Foundation help train talented students from Galapagos.

Patricia Isabela Tapia, a 20-year-old Galapagos youth, is currently following her passion and studying abroad. After participating in a challenging selection process that...

The Santa Cruz Municipality in the Galapagos Islands, in the Session of the 9th of February 2018, unanimously resolved to award Dr. Heinke Jäger the SCIENTIFIC MERIT RECOGNITION for her work in the Biodiversity of Galápagos, and her recommendations for the sustainable management of...

Today, February 12th, is a very special day for the Galapagos islands, and the Charles Darwin Foundation (CDF). Not only was it Charles Darwin’s birthday in 1809, but it was also the day in which the archipelago was officially incorporated into Ecuador’s national territory in 1832....

Fisheries technician Solange Andrade-Vera sits in the lab of the marine sciences building at the Charles Darwin Foundation (CDF), intent on her work.  In one hand, she holds a small white object glued to a glass slide.  With the other, she presses a small piece of special sandpaper,...

The first time we met with our Shark Ambassadors group in 2017 at the Charles Darwin Research Station (CDRS), they looked curious about the activities we were about to develop. I remember asking all of them why they chose this program instead of the other options they had and some of them told...

Many programs have been started with a goal to provide the best access to existing taxonomic information, but arguably the most important began in 1994 under the auspices of the United Nations with the creation of the BIN 21 network, now known as the GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information...

When I first moved to the Galapagos to begin my position as marine ecologist at the Charles Darwin Foundation (CDF) a year ago, I was in disbelief each time I went snorkelling. Seeing tropical corals and parrot fish, sea lions and sub-Antarctic penguins all sharing the same coastal habitat was...

The Charles Darwin Foundation (CDF), a non-for-profit research institution that for almost 60 years has been the official scientific advisor to the Ecuadorian government, will be hosting a world-class International Climate Change Workshop at the iconic Charles Darwin Research Station. From the...

Take motivated students, add the ocean surrounding us, and you have the perfect combination to conduct conservation work.

When you are at the beach, have you ever lifted a rock to find out what is under it? Or, have you touched sand to know if there is life there? Or, have you realized...

We believe that climate change is one of the most pressing issues of the world today. The Charles Darwin Foundation is ready to tackle this global problem by improving our scientific understanding of the Galapagos archipelago. Possessing almost 60 years of Galapagos biodiversity data, we have...

As part of its mission, the Charles Darwin Foundation is proud to announce the launch of two partial University scholarships for local students of Galápagos with an excellent academic background. The locals can conduct their studies in areas related to conservation of ecosystems and...

An international research team has identified the pathways that more than 1,500 alien species have taken to the Galápagos Islands, which will help to protect the UNESCO World Heritage-listed area from future threats.

The study, led by Charles Darwin University PhD candidate...

Fernandina Volcano began erupting on September 4 2017, at about 18:25 UTC (12:25 local time). This is not very surprising, because Fernandina erupts every few years, most recently in 2009, and before that 2005 and 1995. All of the recent eruptions have been on the southwestern flank of the...

As part of a launch of the new “Galapagos Biodiversity and Education for Sustainability Fund”, a  Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by the Ecuadorian tour-company Ecoventura with the Charles Darwin Foundation (CDF) and Mr. Eliecer Cruz Bedón, a prominent...

The Charles Darwin Foundation (CDF) supports the initiatives of communities in the Galapagos and mainland Ecuador to peacefully rally against illegal fisheries of endangered species. It is very alarming that these activities continue to occur in our territorial waters and in the Galapagos...

Written in collaboration with Geiner Golfin, Management of Natural Resources for Cocos Island.

An investigation was recently initiated in the Cocos Island National Park with the aims of minimizing the negative impacts on marine biodiversity in the Cocos Island...

My experience with the 2017 ecological monitoring project

It was 5:30am when the motor of the Queen Mabel ship was turned off after navigating all night towards Punta Moreno, our first stop in the west of the archipelago. The sun still wasn’t out and we were getting ready for...

I have been very lucky to visit Galapagos numerous times, first as a volunteer at the Galapagos National Park Directorate (GNPD) and then at the Charles Darwin Foundation (CDF). At the start of 2016, I returned to support the Foundation’s work as a “Local Liaison Coordinator”...

The Charles Darwin Foundation (CDF), the Galapagos National Park Directorate (GNPD), and a group of local and international scientists and authorities met at the end of July 2017 on Santa Cruz Island to discuss the impacts of climate change at a workshop called “Science and Climate Change...

The G.T. Corley Smith Library, located in Puerto Ayora at our Research Station, is happy to announce the online availability of our catalog. In the past, the only way to know which titles were in our collection was to visit the library in person. Now, thanks to the support of the Galapagos...

Written in collaboration with Lorena Romero.

Between June 21 and 28, 2017, the Galapagos Verde 2050 (GV2050) team, with the collaboration of Giant Tortoise Restoration Initiative, implemented by Galapagos Conservancy and Galapagos National Park Directorate, went on an...

The tropical heat of a sunny day in “The Enchanted Islands” fell upon the grey costume I was wearing. With blurry vision from the inside of my strange attire, I was watching how the visitors enjoyed, laughed, asked questions, and took photos of me. Children were terrified and cried...

The Galapagos Archipelago has a new designation, a “Marine Sanctuary”, conformed by Darwin and Wolf; small islands located in the north. These islands have a lot to discover and protect. A group of experimented scientists embarked in an expedition on the boat Queen Mabel at...

Through the shore of the bigger islands of our archipelago we have several friends that build the beautiful landscape that we use as sustenance of our lives. In the coastal zone, and some part of the arid zones, there are these reptiles that are part of the cycle of life that here...

The visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station on the Island of Santa Cruz in the Galapagos is a lifetime dream for our visitors, according to Dennis Ballesteros, a Senior Guide with Metropolitan Touring, an organization that brings thousands of tourists to the islands every year. “The...

The most common response when I talk to non-scientists about sharks, is that they are dangerous animals that, among other things, kill people. Actually, sharks are not killers; they are very interesting animals and science has helped us to discover some of their marvelous secrets. Besides being...

Elasmobranchs (sharks, rays and chimaeras) are among the most threatened group of species on the planet1. Since the end of World War II, we humans got too good at fishing and have managed to remove 9 of 10 sharks and other large predatory fishes from the global oceans2....

Past and Present of Fisheries in Galapagos

Fisheries is one of the oldest economic activities on the Islands, which were annexed to Ecuador in 1832. One of the first attempts of colonizing the islands, which do not have ancestral cultures, was in the early 1920s by a group of...

Written in collaboration with Paola Diaz-Freire.

A National Geographic team arrived in Galapagos for four days to run a Story Telling Bootcamp directed to our staff members and other organisations that work for conservation in the archipelago. This intensive course included,...

Very docile and gentle, Galapagos penguins are unique. They are not only one of the smallest penguin species in the world, but also they are also the only penguin that lives in the equatorial line with a tropical climate. They feed near the coast and their diet is mainly composed of fish and...

Galapagos landbirds welcome seven new species! Two former sub-species of the Vermilion Flycatcher are considered proper species, the Large Cactus Finch was split into the Genovesa Cactus Finch and the Española Ground Finch, and the Sharp-beaked Ground Finch was split into three species!...

The Galapagos Islands include a large biodiversity of vertebrates including mammals, reptiles, birds and fish. However, as far as amphibians are concerned, the only one found on the islands is the Fowler’s Snouted Treefrog (Scinax quinquefasciatus), which is an introduced...

The Galapagos Marine Iguana is one of the key endemic species that is distributed throughout the archipelago. Recently, a team of European and Latin American scientists led by Dr. Sebastian Steinfartz of the Braunschweig Technical University in Germany studied the diversity of the Galapagos...

How is a small fruit fly able to affect the finch population?

What do the dwarf penguin, the flightless cormorant and the elegant albatross have in common?

The life in Galapagos surprises you every second. A visit in this Archipelago is like entering a natural laboratory where...

Climbing equipment, incubators and generators with solar panels are some of the tools that are part of the materials that the mangrove finch conservation project team requires to begin the fourth season of captive rearing. This species has been severely affected by the parasitic fly...

This February 23rd, the Government of Ecuador through the Ministry of the Environment brings back from the Museum of Natural History of New York, the embalmed body of the giant tortoise native of Pinta Island, Lonesome George, who was one of the most famous reptiles in the world for having been...

Written in collaboration with Daniela Vilema.

For the first time in the islands two individuals of the species Chilean Flamingo (Phoenicopterus chilensis) were registered in the Galapagos Islands, on October 17 and 29, 2015 by Tui De Roy, and on July 14, 2016 by Luis...

Written in collaboration with Etienne Rastoin.

The coastal waters of the Galapagos archipelago have been of scientific interest for the last 30 years, however, the depths of the Marine Reserve have remained little explored and studied. That is why in 2016, the Galapagos Islands...

During the last year I worked on the education component of the project "The Galapagos Marine Reserve: A Model of Sustainable Coexistence between Humans and Sharks" with the support of the Save Our Seas Foundation (SOSF) and Lindblad-National Geographic. I mention this to tell you where this...

We conclude with our campaign Protect the Fins and the Ocean Wins! Demonstrating that humans and sharks can coexist sustainably. After visiting all the schools in the archipelago and performing various activities with the local community, we have reached our goal!

During July, August...

Written in collaboration with Nicolás Moity

How many tourists come to Galapagos to dive? Where do these divers come from? Where are most of the sharks, mantas, turtles and other marine species of Galápagos observed by the divers? How does this information contribute to...

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 breeding pairs. The survival of this species in the wild is threatened due to...

Written in collaboration with Gustavo Jiménez-Uzcategui.

Galapagos penguins (Spheniscus mendiculus) and non-flying cormorants (Phalacrocorax harrisi) are two endemic species of the Galapagos Islands. The penguins can be found commonly in Isabela,...

IWC, one of our main donors supporting our conservation work in Galapagos, has launched a new watch, the Aquatimer Chronograph "Sharks".

The special edition watch with production limited to 500 pieces features a unique hammerhead shark...

We regret to inform that the early morning of October 25th, 2016 in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno in San Cristobal Island we lost a very dear friend and ex colleague of the Charles Darwin Foundation, Jacinto Gordillo.

Everyone who had the honor to meet Don Jacinto know and feel...

Between September 27 and September 30, 2016 the Galapagos Verde 2050 project, together with the DPNG and with the support of ECOGAL and FAE, in order to continue the process of ecological restoration on Baltra, the fifth planting of native species and endemic plants of the island took place....

On September 15, Catherine Rigsby, Chancellor of Yachay Tech, Paul Baker, Dean of the School of Geological Sciences and Engineering, Edwin Cadena, a teacher at the same school, and Arturo Izurieta, Executive Director of the Charles Darwin Foundation for the Galapagos islands, met in the...

A 25-year cooperation deal was signed in Quito on Friday, July 29, 2016 and a symbolic ceremony took place in Galapagos on the 11th of August of the same year, between the Ecuadorian Government and the Charles Darwin Foundation that will strengthen crucial scientific research and conservation...

Results of a phylogenetic study that used samples of the vermillion flycatcher from the museum collection of the California Academy of Sciences were published on the 24th of May 2016 in...

Paola Lahuatte, currently a junior researcher at the Charles Darwin Research Station, first arrived here in May 2013 as a volunteer. After a few months she was offered a scholarship to develop a method for breeding Philornis downsi under laboratory conditions for her undergraduate...

We remember the first Director of the Charles Darwin Research Station, a Swiss ornithologist who sadly passed away last month at the age of 84.

Léveque supervised and planned the initial work for the construction of the Research Station in Puerto Ayora. He started the first...

“Galapagos needs sharks, sharks need Galapagos”. This is the main focus of the environmental education workshops that have been developed for 5th, 6th and 7th graders in all the schools of Santa Cruz and that will soon be disseminated on the islands of Floreana, San Cristobal and...

During May and June our team of scientists and volunteers, along with the collaboration of the Galapagos National Park Directorate, continued the initial phase in the process of ecological restoration of South Plaza through the recuperation of the cacti population (Opuntia echios...

Did you know that a shark generates more than 5 million dollars in the span of its entire life in the Galapagos? Or that the Darwin and Wolf Islands host the highest shark biomass on the planet? These and many other interesting facts will be presented in the campaign titled “Protect the...

A team of Charles Darwin Research Station 'Mangrove Finch Project' staff carried out the successful release of 15 mangrove finch (Camarhynchus heliobates)fledglings this May. The team spent six weeks camping in the field in order to safely release the fledglings back into their native...

Last week our Grants and Contracts Manager, Freda Chapman, retired. We wish Freda all the best in her new endeavors and want to thank her for all the years of hard work and dedication to the protection and conservation of Galapagos.

Freda got involved with the Charles Darwin Research...

On February 28, I arrived on Baltra Island filled with expectations and (I admit it) nervousness, but I was in Galapagos and nothing could go wrong with being here. I didn’t know what to expect about the Charles Darwin Foundation (CDF) but I received an email from Kelsey Bradley, who...

Ecuador Designated Area a Marine Sanctuary Last March: Ensures Protection of Hammerheads, Reef Sharks and Other Top Predators.

In a study published today in the journal PeerJ, scientists from the...

A year ago the Charles Darwin Foundation (CDF) initiated a project to create an area within the Charles Darwin Research Station (CDRS) with the primary objective of showing visitors and the local community about the role that the CDF has fulfilled in the Galapagos Islands for over 50...

In 1986, our dear colleague Jorge Herrera became a part of the Charles Darwin Foundation (CDF) staff. With the motivation to achieve a college scholarship that the Foundation could grant, Jorge accepted the position of Supplies Manager. He soon found himself in a very friendly atmosphere where...

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 of the...

A scientific study by marine researchers from the Charles Darwin Foundation (CDF) revealed that Wolf and Darwin Islands, located in the northwest of the Galapagos Archipelago, are considered a single ecological unit with the largest shark biomass on the planet, with an average of 17.5 tons per...

The Galapagos Islands are well known for their amazing biodiversity and high levels of endemism. Under the water, the Galapagos is also known for large shark populations, marine turtles and sea lions.  The Galapagos is a paradise for those who love the underwater world. My name is...

Written in collaboration with Liza Diaz Lalova and Soledad Moran.

Galapagos Verde 2050 project works developing concrete actions to contribute to the process of restoring the ecological integrity and biodiversity of large areas in arid...

Roger Perry, writer, educator, passionate conservationist and Charles Darwin Research Station Director from 1964 to 1970 died in January 2016 at the age of 82. He was a Darwin Foundation Honorary Member since 2004.

During his years as head of the Station he turned this...

This January 29, 2016 an inter-institutional Cooperation Agreement between the National Fisheries Institute (INP), represented by the General Director MSc. Edwin Moncayo, and the Charles Darwin Foundation, represented by the Executive Director, Dr. Arturo Izurieta Valery was...

Charles Darwin Research Station Director in Galapagos, wildlife conservationist and author Roger Perry has died at the age of 82.

We remember Roger Perry's contribution to the conservation of the Galapagos Archipelago. He has been the longest serving Director to date. Dr. Peter...

The Meteorological Weather Station operated by the Charles Darwin Research Station (CDRS) in Santa Cruz Island received its most recent maintenance check in October 2015. This important upkeep was carried out with the support of the Weather and Hydrology National Institute of Ecuador and with...

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 included international specialists who have worked with mangrove finch...

THE GALAPAGOS ISLANDS are one of the best preserved island ecosystems in the world. The observations Charles Darwin made when he visited the Islands in 1835 can still be seen and have been studied further by hundreds of scientists around the world. Gaining an understanding of the...

On your next trip to Galapagos, don’t forget to bring your SmartPhone!  You can be CDF’s “eyes and ears” as you visit these beautiful islands – after all, our ornithologists are very talented but they can’t be everywhere at once.  We are working...

Do you take your internet connection for granted?  Can you remember what it was like in the days of slow dial-up connections?  That's a bit like how it is in Galapagos now. 

Our internet connection has to make the 600-mile journey from mainland Ecuador and then get...

If you would like to see the world from the comfort of your house, we have good news.  Through the new project 'Galapagos 360', you can view spectacular images of the islands without leaving your chair.  New geographic technology, online accessibility of large amounts of information...

The Galapagos Landbird Conservation Program, conducted by the Charles Darwin Foundation (CDF) and the Galapagos National Park Directorate (GNPD), is developing strategies to monitor and assess the status of landbird species...

The Charles Darwin Foundation (CDF) received a donation of high resolution satellite images from the DigitalGlobe Foundation through Brown University, US.

This donation has been received by Lynn Carlson, manager of the EARTHLab at Brown University, and Heinke Jäger, a CDF...

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 Mangrove...

The unique animals and plants of the Galapagos archipelago have experienced few extinctions, mainly due to the late colonization of the islands by humans and the high level of protection of most of the archipelago as an uninhabited national park. However, changes in land use and the presence of...

Professor Dennis Geist, President of the CDF, remarks, “This is a transformation for the Charles Darwin Foundation, a real opportunity to take a major step forward in our scientific support of Galápagos conservation and support of national scientific capacity. Dr.

The “Charles Darwin Foundation for the Galapagos Islands”, in French “Fondation Charles Darwin pour les îles Galapagos”, Association International sans but lucratif (“AISBL”), has its registered office located at Drève du Pieuré 19, 1160 Brussels, and is registered under the trade registry of Brussels under the number 0409.359.103.

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