Biodiversity protection in the Galapagos requires us to address the threat posed by harmful invasive species. In Galapagos, some invasive species are permanently altering the ecosystems into which they invade and having a negative impact on biodiversity.
Several management strategies are available for invasive species. Prevention of the introduction of new species is widely regarded as the most desirable. However, where prevention has failed, complete eradication of invasive species from the archipelago or individual islands (where feasible) is the best available strategy if we are to prevent their future impacts on biodiversity, because of its one-off costs.
Eradications must be initiated at an early stage of the species’ establishment in order to ensure success and be cost effective. Control programmes require a continuous and permanent investment, but control of species that cannot be completely eradicated also plays an important role. Control options include containment, where we try to keep a species from spreading outside a defined area, such as the agricultural zone, priority-site control, usually of all key invasive species, such as plant habitat transformers in sites with high biodiversity value, and biological control.
Research being carried out on introduced species in Galapagos by the Charles Darwin Foundation and the Galapagos National Park is aimed at identifying and facilitating the best management options in each case.
Source: Charles Darwin Foundation.