On Tuesday 10 March, the popular BBC2 documentary series Natural World narrated by Sir David Attenborough, dedicated an entire episode to Galapagos! Of course there was some spectacular footage highlighting the beauty and uniqueness of these Islands and the wildlife that can be found there. But this documentary stood out from previous broadcasts focused solely on the untouched areas of the Archipelago. This one featured the humans that also call the Islands home and tells the stories of how wildlife is adapting to their presence.
Our biggest reaction to watching this great programme was to want to thank you, our supporters, for your ongoing generosity. Every project featured on there is represented within our portfolio of support over the past 18 months. From watching the pioneering discoveries still being made by our Ambassador Godfrey Merlen (watch a clip of his story of the snakes of Fernandina island here) to the ground-breaking Mangrove Finch Project (the field season of which we are currently funding), this programme really does highlight the need for ongoing conservation in this unique Archipelago.
To find out more about the projects featured and to find out how you can continue to help support them in the future, please explore the links below.
Saving the Mangrove Finch
Thanks to the support of our members, the Mangrove Finch Project has entered its second year of the ground-breaking programme and the team are in the field right now collecting the next batch of eggs to bring this critically endangered population back from the very brink. It is a great example of a successful multi-institutional project carried out by the Charles Darwin Foundation and Galapagos National Park in collaboration with San Diego Zoo Global and the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust.
Strengthening the Population of Floreana Mockingbirds
As Sir David Attenborough describes, the Floreana mockingbird is one of the most important birds in the history of – it was integral in the formation of Darwin’s theory. Working with Luis Ortiz-Catedral, we are supporting essential research on the remaining populations on the islets of Champion and Gardner to best advise future management strategies – possibly reintroducing them to the island of Floreana one day after almost 200 years. Read more about the Floreana mockingbird here.
Tracking the (Terrestrial) Giants of Galapagos
Thanks to our supporters, we have funded the work of Steve Blake for over 5 years as he and his team work tirelessly to learn more about the lives of the Islands’ most famous residents, the Galapagos giant tortoises. The continuation of this work is critical to ensure that future development plans of the urban areas of Galapagos are undertaken with the needs of local wildlife in mind. Find out about the Lost Years Project here or adopt a hatchling today for a friend or family member.
Tracking the (Marine) Giants of Galapagos
The funds raised in our summer 2013 appeal, enabled us to fund the Galapagos Whale Shark Project in 2014. We are continuing our support this year and are also working with masters students in the UK on supporting data analysis.
The BBC documentary highlighted that education is essential to ensure the sustainable future of Galapagos. By engaging today’s children, we produce our future conservation ambassadors – important both on the Islands themselves and around the world. Through the Discovering Galapagos programme, we are aiming to provide free educational resources internationally highlighting the issues in Galapagos and their relevance at a global scale. Begin your journey here.
If you would like to support any of these projects, please donate today!
by Rachael Blundell