Galapagos Invasive Species:
Management basics

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70+ new introduced species on the list: Up-dating the introduced species inventories

Ricinus communisBefore planning research and management strategies we need to know which introduced species are present in Galapagos. Currently, work is going on to produce up-to-date inventories of the introduced plants and invertebrates in the archipelago.

Introduced plant inventories

There has never been a complete survey for introduced plants, but the botany department of the Charles Darwin Foundation are now attempting one, to cover all of the inhabited zones of Galapagos, which are the source areas from which introduced species escape into the National Park. The aim is to have a complete inventory of all introduced plant species present in Galapagos.

Since 2002, Ana Mireya Guerrero, Paola Pozo, Anne Guézou and Sussy Chamorro - members of the Botany Department - have been documenting the occurrence of introduced plants in Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island. Previously, Javier Robayo undertook inventories of Floreana Island and the agricultural zone of Santa Cruz. Future work will cover Isabela and San Cristobal.

The Puerto Ayora field work has just been completed (early 2004), and more than 500 species recorded, of which at least 70 were never been previously registered in Galapagos. Some (hopefully few) of these species may be invasive. Some should be feasible to eradicate. Others may be the focus of campaigns where we hope to influence what people grow in their gardens. Local gardeners are encouraged to grow non-invasive and native plants.

Ricinus communis L. or Castor Oil plant, (in the photo), is a common plant in disturbed areas on Santa Cruz island and one of the introduced species registered in the town of Puerto Ayora during the inventory.

Source: Charles Darwin Foundation.

The noxious weeds page gives more information on current work being carried out on introduced plant species.

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