Conservation and Environment in Ecuador: Monthly Updates
Conservation in Ecuador Monthly update - April - June 2015
The ecosystem of the Galapagos Islands are highly vulnerable to change in the environment, either by the presence of introduced plants that compete for space with native plants or the damage caused by introduced animals such as rats that affect endemic birds species.
We are working on long-term projects such as the monitoring of species of Marine Wolf (Galápagos Sea Lion), Marine Iguanas (Amblyrhynchuscristatus), and bird watching in different viewpoints. We also work in the centre of Giant Tortoise Breeding (Chelonoidischathamensis) in captivity, where we take care of feeding species, cleaning the pools and make the control of invasive plant species that are within the area.
During this time of hard work with the Ecuador government institutions that care for and protect the fragile ecosystem of the islands have been active in the conservation of the islands.
We work in the Nursery of the Galapagos National Park (GNP) which help in various activities like cleaning the beds of germination, collecting seeds and seedlings in the forest, soil and compost preparation, care and management of the plants. They are germinated and endemic and native of different ecological areas of the island plants are raised. All plants are growing at the time this place will be used for future reforestation in different areas of the island where we have problems with introduced plants.
Within these activities we did for the conservation of species that are endangered have control of introduced plant species such as Mora, Guava, these plants are destroying terrestrial ecosystems and displacing endemic and native plants reducing their population and affecting animals that depend on the native flora of Galapagos. This monitoring work introduced plants makes it manually for better management of plants and try not to destroy the ecosystem using other methods that may affect species of Galapagos.
When plants are controlled reforestation with own plants of the place are made, reforestation is done in order to recover altered by exotic plants and help recover populations of terrestrial birds that depend on these plants to survive areas. Reforestation are made at different places with the technical coordination of GNP staff.
In the center of giant tortoise breeding of San Cristobal help in maintaining the protected area and in the various activities they have to carry out the project of captive breeding of turtles to be repatriated after the natural area. Here we also perform control of introduced plants in the nesting area to facilitate both the location of the turtle nests.
We conduct coastal cleanups in different beaches where there are colonies of marine iguanas and resting areas of seals. We weighed the garbage to find the amount of garbage recolectad and keep track of the garbage we collect, how we aim to keep the area where animals live without garbage to protect them and prevent them from being affected by the waste.
We work on organic agriculture in different farms in the high part of the island, prepare compost for crops and planted vegetables and bananas. This aims to instill in organic agriculture so that farmers do not destroy the environment in using chemicals and fertilizers.
We work in our nursery where we germinate endemic and native plants. The plants were replanted in areas such as parks and a village on the farm for use as seed and more uses. We keep building and adapting the site to reforest with plants of the same nursery.
Perform monitoring Petrel Pata Stuck bird endemic Galapagos marine, we keep track of active nests, track stage pigeon is done until it fit to fly, we control rats in the nesting of this bird to help this population, since rats destroy the nest and kill the pigeon. These monitoring and control are very important, help control rats and increase the number of birds of this species.
- Reforestation was carried out in several areas d the island where there is the presence of introduced plants that affect other species of plants and animals.
- Guava la Mora and was controlled in the Junco Lagoon
- We planted a total of 2000 plants distributed in different parts of the island.
- The health of the turtles is good, the weight is fine and are growing at a good pace, no diseases or diet problems.
- The monitoring sites are clean without presence of garbage, species populations studied are in good health there is no presence of dead animals.
Jonathan Guillen C and Ariel Garcia
Conservation Project Coordinator