Galapagos invasive species:
The "Invasive Species in Galapagos" Project

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Just in time: Project ECU/00/G31 "Galapagos Invasive Species"

Alcedo volcanoGoal: Conservation of endemic and native biodiversity in the Galapagos archipelago and preservation of natural evolutionary processes.

Purpose: Develop an integrated and permanent system for the Total Control of Invasive Species that permits the long-term conservation of the Galapagos archipelago.

Period: 2001 - 2007

The Galapagos Islands are a globally outstanding repository of biodiversity and centre of endemism. Threats exist primarily from the past and potential future invasion of alien species, which are already responsible for habitat degradation, and which prey on, and compete with native wildlife. As one example, the photographs show very clearly the destruction of vegetation on Alcedo volcano on Isabela island with the arrival of goats after 1977.

The project aims at fully empowering Ecuadorian institutions charged with conserving the Islands to proactively, and adaptively, manage these threats, and guard against future ‘bio-invasion’ by taking a precautionary approach to ecosystem management. Interventions will seek to:

  1. Prevent future species colonisation by improving quarantine systems;
  2. Build capacity to perform targeted research, to understand the nature of current and future threats, and plan mitigation efforts;
  3. Demonstrate cost effective means of eradicating, controlling, and mitigating the impacts of invasive species through pilot projects that exemplify the spectrum of management challenges;
  4. Establish a financial mechanism to compensate for the recurrent costs of control measures;
  5. Build awareness in the archipelago and mainland regarding the problem;
  6. Build the capacities of management agencies to capture non-project investments for replicating eradication efforts; and
  7. As management is unlikely to succeed without the active co-operation of the Islands’ 16,000 residents, local communities will be actively engaged in planning and executing these operations.

The six components.

Output 1: Prevention - Ecuadorian Agricultural Health Service (SESA-Galapagos)

A co-ordinated inspection and quarantine system for Galapagos is in place with the full participation of local institutions and with clearly defined procedures and detection techniques.

Output 2: Adaptive Management (control planning and research) - Charles Darwin Foundation (CDF)

Adaptive management mechanisms established to develop and up-date a scientifically sound, well-programmed and cost-effective bio-invasion control programme.

Output 3: Control and eradication pilot projects - Galapagos National Park (GNP)

A series of eradication and control pilot projects implemented to eliminate critical invasive species populations and to strengthen the technical and operational capacity of parties with invasive species control responsibilities.

This component has the widest scope of the project and consists of four main lines of action, each of which is in itself a sub-project. The first is the pilot programme of eradication of the mega-population of goats on Isabela island (Project Isabela). The second line of action is a set of demonstration projects eradicating specific species on a smaller scale, one for introduced animals with United Nations Fund funding and the other on noxious weeds with Global Environment Facility (GEF) funding. The third line of action is related to demonstration control, mitigation and restoration projects. Part of this third line is the control of quinine. The fourth line of action is related to research on the management of introduced species, improved methods, and costs.

Output 4: Trust Fund Development - CDF

An expanded and efficiently operating financial mechanism is operationalized permitting the permanent funding of invasive species management activities in the Galapagos.

Output 5: Public Communication and Awareness. A Directive Council (GNP, CDF, Galapagos National Institute, Natura Foundation), with GNP as Executive Secretary.

A community awareness and participation programme for bio-invasion control is developed.

Output 6: Sectoral overlay - Galapagos National Institute (INGALA), through its secretariat and the Inter-institutional, Technical and Planning Co-ordination Committee.

A bio-invasion overlay developed for regional planning with a set of guidelines and instruments that ensure that sector developments are consistent with the total control of invasive species.

Source: Project Management Unit.

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This website was created on 25 October 2004 by PT and JK