Recently, you might have seen the recent letter from Sharon Johnson, Galapagos Conservation Trust’s CEO. As you will have heard restrictions of movement in Galapagos, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, meant critical fieldwork across the Archipelago had to stop. However, the strict lockdown didn’t stop our dedicated project partners from changing and adapting to continue our vital work. Suddenly working from home, our scientists switched focus to crucial data analysis and our outreach staff started creating home worksheets for children on the Islands.
Our scientists and educators would not be stopped. They – like you – know our work has great value and must continue.
Recently, Sharon received a message from Jorge Carrion, previously Director of Galapagos National Park, and now Principle Investigator for the Galapagos Tortoise Movement Ecology Programme. He and his team are now resuming their important research in the National Park. It is critical we follow the giant tortoise migrations, mitigate human-tortoise conflicts and monitor their ongoing health to protect these endangered island giants.
We’ve also just heard the news that six little vermilion flycatcher chicks had fledged their nests during the lockdown. Our Saving the Little Vermilion Flycatcher project works with partners to restore Scalesia forest, and reduce predator pressure by controlling invasive species such as rats and the fly Philornis downsi. The team is expecting to get back out again soon to clear some overgrown plants for the Scalesia plots where the birds breed and forage.
As Galapagos relaxes movement restrictions, we need to get our scientists back into the field as quickly and safely as possible. This is why we need your support. Your donation will enable us to continue critical conservation work at an incredibly challenging time.
Anne Guezou is GCT’s Santa Cruz-based Outreach Coordinator. Since the lockdown, Anne has been creating worksheets for children, and highlighting the value of the unique Galapagos species to the Islands’ long-term future. Anne is soon to restart her essential conservation work and, going forward, wants to put even more focus on sustainability and the importance of our role as part of the ecosystem.
Jonathan from the Galapagos Whale Shark Project team is preparing for the first trip to Darwin and Wolf Islands this summer. Increased economic pressure brings the risk of increased illegal fishing – a considerable threat to sharks. The team is eager to get back to these remote waters and tag whale sharks. We must continue monitoring their migration routes and learn if the huge number of females aggregating in Galapagos are pregnant to inform crucial management strategies.
£50 could support ongoing work to help species found nowhere else, such as Galapagos giant tortoises, land iguanas and Darwin’s finches.
£75 could help us save wildlife being highly threatened by introduced species, such as rats and the P. downsi fly whose larvae kills the chicks of the little vermilion flycatcher and mangrove finch.
£150 could support our work to protect Galapagos’ marine life – the beautiful whale shark, and other sharks threatened through illegal fishing.