Galapagos Launches Landmark Restoration Project to Bring Back Extinct Species

03 Oct 23 /
October 3, 2023, marks the beginning of the implementation phase of the Floreana Ecological Restoration Project, the largest and most ambitious restoration initiative currently underway in the Galapagos Islands.

This project aims to reintroduce twelve species of fauna considered extinct on this island. In this first phase of the project, which begins this Tuesday, the Charles Darwin Foundation (CDF) will use drone technology to map the dispersal of bait that will be used to eliminate introduced and invasive species, which prevent the reintroduction of native species.

Throughout the implementation of the project, the CDF will contribute to the following other critical actions:

• Establish a baseline to understand the diversity of invertebrates that exist before and after the eradication of introduced and invasive species.
• Implement techniques to control the Philornis downsi avian vampire fly.
• Recover and reintroduce threatened terrestrial birds considered extinct in Floreana, such as the Little Vermilion Flycatcher

Since 2022, the Charles Darwin Foundation has worked to strengthen the agricultural organization Verde Floreana, thus providing comprehensive advice in the environmental, social, and economic areas.

Culebra de Floreana, especie que se reintroducirá en la isla como parte del proyecto Floreana. Foto: Rashid Cruz, FCD.
Floreana snake, a species that will be reintroduced to the island as part of the Floreana project. Photo: Rashid Cruz, CDF.

After 10 years of planning, this ambitious project is now becoming a reality. The project is led by Jocotoco Foundation, the Galápagos National Park Directorate, and the Agency for the Regulation and Control of Biosecurity and Quarantine for Galápagos, with the assistance from Island Conservation and support from the Charles Darwin Foundation, among other organizations.

“This restoration project yet again demonstrates the importance of coordinated efforts between institutions and organizations dedicated to the conservation of the Galapagos Islands. Large-scale projects such as this one can only achieve positive results if all conservation stakeholders work together to pool their knowledge, effort, and collective experience”, said Rakan Zahawi, Executive Director of the CDF.

Floreana Island has only 150 inhabitants. Photo: GNPD

The Charles Darwin Foundation, founded in 1959, is an international non-profit organization dedicated to scientific research for the conservation of the environment and biodiversity of the Galapagos Islands. Its mission is to tackle the greatest threats and challenges to the Galapagos through scientific research and conservation action in order to protect one of the world's most important natural treasures.

Andres Cruz

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