A Look at Conservation Efforts by the Charles Darwin Foundation

A Look at Conservation Efforts by the Charles Darwin Foundation

Mar 20, 2015|NewsNatural HistoryWhere we travel| by administrator

Home to some of the most beautiful and memorable wildlife and nature in the world, the Galapagos is a top destination for many. Visitors travel to the islands to admire and enjoy this little piece of paradise, but what they may not realize is how much effort goes into conserving, protecting and researching the living things that inhabit the Galapagos.

The Charles Darwin Foundation for the Galapagos Islands is a non-profit scientific organization that focuses on providing scientific knowledge and assistance to encourage conservation of the islands. The CDF was founded over 50 years ago under Belgian Law. Since then, it has been working closely with the Ecuadorian government institutions to do everything possible to encourage conservation of the animals and natural resources of these islands. Over 100 scientists, researchers, volunteers, educators and other staff members work with the CDF at the Charles Darwin Research Station on the island of Santa Cruz in the Galapagos. About 90% of the staff is Ecuadorian. This is because the CDF is committed to training Galapagos residents as future researchers for the good of the islands and the country of Ecuador as a whole.

Researchers and scientists are always making strides to improve conservation efforts and educate people with the best scientific knowledge of the area. The main areas that researchers focus on at the CDRS are invasive species, sustainability, and conservation management. In the work done in 2014 alone, we are able to see how much effort these researchers put into protecting the Galapagos.  In 2014 staff at the CDRS monitored 120 different species, planted 5,000 endemic and native seedlings, tagged 365 sharks, and spent 35,000 hours researching the parasitic fly Philornis downsi. The Mangrove Finch is a species of bird that is classified as critically endangered. Last year, the first Mangrove Finch hatched at the CDRS, and since then 13 more have hatched.

Another very important part of the CDRS is the research and conservation of the giant tortoises. Tortoises here range from newborn to over 100 years old.

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