• Ecuador, Galapagos: Controlling invasive species on San Cristobal Island

  • Ecuador, Galápagos: Protecting the breeding habitat and nesting sites of the Galápagos Petrel

  • Ecuador, Galápagos: Protecting the breeding habitat and nesting sites of the Galápagos Petrel

  • Ecuador, Galápagos: Protecting the breeding habitat and nesting sites of the Galápagos Petrel

In Brief

Location:

San Cristóbal Island, Galápagos Archipelago.

Goal:

To protect the breeding habitat and nesting sites of the Critically Endangered Galápagos Petrel.

Conservation Value:

The Galápagos Petrel (Pterodroma phaeopygia) is one of the endemic seabirds of the Galápagos Archipelago. The populations of this long-lived ground-nesting seabird have declined substantially over the last sixty years and it is now listed as Critically Endangered by IUCN. With the help of Rainforest Trust, Fundación Jocotoco established its Galápagos Reserve in 2017 to protect a breeding colony of petrels on the island of San Cristóbal, where the species is not adequately protected by the Galápagos National Park.

Threats:

The decline of the Galápagos Petrel (Pterodroma phaeopygia) occurs for three reasons: 1) overfishing reduces food sources, a common threat for many marine species around Galápagos, and on land by 2) predation of adults and young by feral cats, dogs, pigs, and rats at nest burrows where the birds are particularly vulnerable and 3), indirectly by the loss of nest sites as invasive Blackberry (Rubus, five varieties) bramble thickets replace natural Miconia (Miconia robinsoniana) forests and cover the cavities.

Actions & Results:

  • Feral animals are trapped and removed in coordination with authorities of the Galápagos National Park. This has reduced predation from about 14% per year to none.
  • Park guards remove Blackberries to allow the Miconia forests to survive. This has increased the available area for nesting by the petrels.
  • The work to remove the invasive plants requires so much labour, we are building accommodation to allow volunteers to assist the park guards to help with this effort. Their active learning experience in the Galápagos is enhanced by our cooperation with the Galápagos Science Centre on San Cristóbal operated by the Universidad San Francisco de Quito.
  • We are currently working with a community to protect additional petrel colonies on San Cristóbal.

Project Field Partner:

Fundación Jocotoco.

Cost:

Commitment from ICFC (2021): USD $10,000
Cost to ICFC (2019): CA$7,500

Size of Area Involved:

297 acres.

Gallery

Click to enlarge an image

1. galapagos petrel (pterodroma phaeopygia) 2021 - credit fundacion jocotoco copy
2. galapagos petrel (pterodroma phaeopygia) 2021 - credit fundacion jocotoco copy
4. miconia (miconia robinsoniana) 2021 - credit fundacion jocotoco copy
7. volunteer clearing invasive blackberry (rubus, five varieties) - credit fundacion jocotoco copy

In More Depth...

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