• 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

Conservation Value:

The Galápagos petrel (Pterodroma phaeopygia) is one of the endemic seabirds of the Galápagos Archipelago. The populations of this long-lived 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 has occurred through overfishing of its food sources, predation of adults and young by feral cats, dogs, pigs, and rats at nest burrows where the birds are particularly vulnerable, and the loss of nest sites as invasive blackberry (Rubus) bramble thickets replace natural Miconia (Miconia robinsoniana) forests and cover the cavities.

Actions & Results:

In 2023, Fundación Jocotoco continued monitoring all of the nesting sites of the Galápagos petrel in the reserve. Project staff now have data from three complete breeding seasons (2020-2021, 2021-2022, and 2022-2023), and have seen an increase in chick reproductive success and overall population density, which is promising. Fundación Jocotoco is now employing satellite tracking for Galápagos petrel populations in San Cristóbal and Floreana Islands, to learn more about their preferred foraging sites and to identify threats at sea. Work continues on the completion of a 'Visitor Facility' in the highlands of San Cristóbal Island (in Los Petreles Reserve), including a camping area to host students and volunteer visitors. The reserve has an extremely irregular topography with many hills and slippery ground that pose a risk for people working there and thus, building a nature trail to safely access the nesting colonies of Galápagos petrels is very important. Due to weather conditions (heavy rain), the scarcity of materials from mainland Ecuador, and delays in the transportation of construction materials, the project fell behind schedule. However, the aim is for the nature trail to be completed by the end of 2024.

Goal:

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

Location:

San Cristóbal Island, Galápagos Archipelago

Size of Area Involved:

120 hectares.

Project Field Partner:

Fundación Jocotoco.

Our Investment to Date:

Cumulative cost to ICFC (2019-2023): CA$28,106
Budget for 2024: US$11,649

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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