Floreana Appeal

Floreana island used to be home to a wide range of endemic species including the Floreana mockingbird. Many of these species are now locally extinct, however, due to over 100 years of environmental degradation including habitat loss and impacts from invasive species. We need your help to end this, and bring species like the Floreana mockingbird back home at last.

Back in Charles Darwin’s day, there were enough Floreana mockingbirds on Floreana to inspire his theory of evolution. Today, however, the population of this charming bird is now just several hundred individuals which are restricted to two tiny islets off the coast of Floreana – Champion and Gardner – leading to its classification as critically endangered.

Galapagos Wildlife, birds, Floreana Mockingbird4 ©Luis Ortiz

Critically endangered Floreana Mockingbird ©Luis Ortiz-Catedral

With so many changes occurring in Galapagos, both human- and climate-driven, it wouldn’t take much for the species to become extinct. They could have a chance of recovering, however, if they could return home to the larger island of Floreana. In order to survive there, we need to restore their habitat to a healthy level.

With a strong partner network including the Galapagos National Park, Island Conservation, Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust and Dr Luis Ortiz-Catedral, we have plans for an ambitious island restoration project on Floreana; the largest ever seen on an inhabited island. This work will also provide the conditions needed to bring back other endangered species to Floreana such as the Floreana racer or even, one day, the Floreana giant tortoise.

In order to achieve this, we need to restore suitable habitat on Floreana. This includes planting and maintaining healthy populations of prickly pear (Opuntia) cactus which are a prime source of food for Floreana mockingbirds, which feed on its nectar, sap and the invertebrates associated with it. Populations of invasive species, including rats, need to be controlled so that the birds can safely nest on the ground without threat from unnatural ground-dwelling predators which prey on their eggs and chicks. We must also continue to monitor the existing two populations of Floreana mockingbird on the islets in order to ensure that they remain stable enough to recolonise Floreana island. 

Galapagos Wildlife, birds, Floreana Mockingbird3 ©Luis Ortiz

The prickly pear cactus provides important habitat for the Floreana mockingbird ©Luis Ortiz-Catedral

This project would not be possible without the involvement of the Floreana community and our partners have made great inroads towards building the foundations to engage local people, providing a sustainable legacy for the project. With support from the local community and government agencies, this project will be a global first as we turn Floreana’s story into one of optimism and hope.

Help us bring the Floreana mockingbird home before it is too late

While this project will be a challenge, with your help we can make it happen. If steps are not taken soon, it could be the end of the Floreana mockingbird, and other native Floreana species, so please support the project today and help hundreds of Floreana mockingbirds in the future!

Please make a donation now, and help save the unique Floreana mockingbird from extinction.