Pinzones de Darwin
Darwin’s finches, named after Charles Darwin, are small land birds, 17 of which are endemic to the Galapagos Islands. The 18th finch is the Cocos finch which is found on Cocos Island, Costa Rica. They are not true finches – they actually belong to the tanager family. It is thought that their ancestor, and closest known relative, is the dull-coloured grassquit, which is found on mainland South America.
Once the original grassquits arrived in Galapagos, they diversified and adapted to the different environments found on the Islands, eventually becoming different species. They famously evolved to have different beaks which are suited to different food types such as large seeds and invertebrates, allowing them to occupy different niches.
Darwin’s finches are all very similar in shape, size and colour, but there are a few differences which can help when identifying them. These include diet, habitat, and beak size and shape.
Darwin's finches in Galapagos
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"12 species are locally extinct on the island, including the Floreana mockingbird and Floreana racer snake."
Once home to some of the most iconic wildlife in Galapagos, Floreana has been devastated by invasive species. We are supporting a hugely ambitious project to restore the island to its former glory.
Saving the Mangrove Finch
"These finches are not part of a wider, fragmented colony, but represent the entire world population."
This project is working to protect one of the rarest birds on earth, the Critically Endangered mangrove finch, which is threatened with extinction by habitat loss and invasive species.
Pinzon island restoration
"In 2012, Pinzon island was cleared of invasive rats. Ten years later, there are promising signs of ecological recovery."
Following the eradication of invasive species on Pinzon island, we are supporting work to track biodiversity recovery and supporting reintroductions of species such as the woodpecker finch.