US 501(c)(3) Friends of Charles Darwin Foundation Launches to Protect Galapagos

02 May 22 /
The new nonprofit hit the ground running thanks to a generous seed grant by Re:wild and is currently matching new donations dollar-for-dollar.

Valhalla, New York, 2 May, 2022 Friends of the Charles Darwin Foundation for the Galápagos Islands is proud to announce that it is officially a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, making it easier than ever for U.S. citizens and foundations to directly support important local conservation research and activities to protect the Galápagos Archipelago, Ecuador.

This new tax-exempt status paved the way for a generous $1.1 million USD donation from Re:wild. To build on this momentum, an anonymous donor is offering a dollar-for-dollar match for the first $100,000 raised by the Friends of the Charles Darwin Foundation.

“Americans have long recognized how extraordinary the Galápagos are and remain passionate about preserving its rich biodiversity,” said Dennis Geist, president of the Friends of the Charles Darwin Foundation. “This new tax-exempt status streamlines the ability to support critical work by the Charles Darwin Foundation and it’s Research Station to conserve and protect the archipelago. I am excited to welcome new and existing U.S.-based funders and partners to help us realize the potential for building a sustainable and resilient Galapagos Archipelago.”

The Galapagos Archipelago is home to many plants and animals found nowhere else, making it one of the world’s best-known biodiversity hotspots. Many of these plants and animals are on the brink of extinction due to invasive species and habitat destruction and degradation.

Galapagos tortoise on Española Island. Photo by: Juan Manuel García/CDF

Re:wild donates 1.1 million grant to FCDF

Re:wild’s generous $1.1 million grant will support research and action to protect the archipelago’s native and endemic biodiversity by addressing these threats. This includes funding to investigate how to prevent the impending extinctions of various landbirds due to the introduced, invasive Avian Vampire Fly, whose larvae feed on the blood of defenseless nestlings of 21 Galápagos bird species. Re:wild’s grant also supports research into biological control of an invasive blackberry that is dramatically changing the islands’ vegetation and implementation of proven activities to increase nesting success of the critically endangered Mangrove Finch.

“Together, Re:wild and the Friends of the Charles Darwin Foundation will be able to restore and rewild important ecosystems in the Galápagos Archipelago for wildlife, people, and our planet,” said Karl Campbell, Re:wild’s director of Latin American Islands. “We invite others who care about protecting our world’s biodiversity to join in this important work. I am confident that together we can protect one of the most extraordinary places on Earth for generations to come.”

To join this effort and make a difference in the Galápagos, visit www.friendsofcdf.org. All donations up to the first $100,000 raised will be matched dollar-for-dollar thanks to an anonymous donor. For gifts of stock, please contact Renee Monroe at renee.monroe@friendsofcdf.org or 518-796-8611.


About Friends of the Charles Darwin Foundation
The Friends of the Charles Darwin Foundation supports the Charles Darwin Foundation for the Galapagos Islands, which has been working to ensure the conservation of the environment and biodiversity in the Galapagos by providing scientific knowledge and assistance for over 60 years. Join our mission and help us protect this planetary treasure at friendsofcdf.org.

About the Charles Darwin Foundation and its Research Station
Since 1959, Charles Darwin Foundation has worked in close partnership with the Galapagos National Park Directorate with the goal of protection of the Islands’ natural resources and the sharing of scientific results for the conservation of this living laboratory. More than one hundred scientists, educators, researchers, support personnel and volunteers from all over the world have participated in this effort. Currently, more than 75% of the staff are Ecuadorian citizens. Charles Darwin Foundation is committed to the professional development of permanent Galapagos residents as future scientists, for the well-being of the islands and the nation in general.

About Re:wild
Re:wild protects and restores the wild. We have a singular and powerful focus: the wild as the most effective solution to the interconnected climate, biodiversity and human health crises. Founded by a group of renowned conservation scientists together with Leonardo DiCaprio, Re:wild is a force multiplier that brings together Indigenous peoples, local communities, influential leaders, nongovernmental organizations, governments, companies and the public to protect and rewild at the scale and speed we need. Learn more at rewild.org.

About the Galapagos Archipelago
In 1978, the Galapagos were designated as the first UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Galapagos National Park Directorate manages more than 98 percent of the archipelago’s land surface area and nearly 200,000 km2 of marine protected areas. The Galapagos Islands host many species found nowhere else in the world due to its remote location. For more than 180 years, scientists have been studying this unique ecosystem. British naturalist Charles Darwin first came to the Galapagos in 1835, where his observations of wildlife inspired the theory of evolution by natural selection.

Andres Cruz

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