Conservation and Environment in Ecuador: Monthly Updates
Conservation in Ecuador - Monthly update - January - March 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 at the Giant Tortoise Breeding Centre (Chelonoidischathamensis), where we feeding, clean the pools and control the amount of invasive plant species that are within the area.
Our work in the nursery of the Galapagos National Park consists of cleaning the beds, collecting seeds and seedlings in the forest, soil and compost preparation, care and management of the plants. All plants will be used for future reforestation in different areas of the island where we have problems with introduced plants.
We have managed to control species such as mora and 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 the Galapagos.
Reforestation is done in order to recover populations of terrestrial birds that depend on these plants to survive in these areas. Reforestation is made at different places with the technical coordination of the National Park staff.
We work on organic agriculture in different farms in the high part of the island and prepare compost for crops and planted vegetables and bananas; the aim to encourage organic farming, so that farmers do not destroy the environment by 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. We keep building and adapting the site to reforest plants in the same nursery.
We also conduct coastal clean-ups in different beaches where there are colonies of marine iguanas and resting areas of sea lions. We weighed the garbage to find the amount of garbage collected 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.
- Reforestation was carried out in several areas on 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 and distributed them in different parts of the island.
- The health of the turtles is good; the weight is fine and they are growing at a good pace with 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