Rewilding the planet’s cradle of evolution
A natural laboratory of evolution, the Galápagos Islands lie 563 miles west of the coast of Ecuador and are volcanic in nature. The archipelago comprises 18 main islands, 3 smaller islands, and 107 rocks and islets. It is the most biologically intact archipelago worldwide, with more than 95% of its original species still present.
Only five islands are inhabited by the 25,000 people of the Galápagos: Baltra (Seymour), Floreana, Santa Cruz, San Cristóbal and Isabela. The majority of the land is protected with only 3 percent set aside for human development.
The Galápagos are world renowned for their abundance of unique wildlife including the Galápagos giant tortoises, land iguanas, lava lizards, Darwin’s finches, the Galápagos Penguin, and many other species found nowhere else. The Galápagos archipelago also holds spectacular marine biodiversity, with 2,900 known species of marine animals, the world’s highest abundance of sharks, and the world’s only marine iguana. In total, 146 of the archipelago's species are on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
The Re:wild solution
Re:wild works with partners, the Ecuadorian government and local communities toward a shared vision of healthy, sustainable, functioning and vibrant island and marine ecosystems across the Galápagos.
The island of Floreana is a central focus of our work - home to 54 threatened species, and the Floreana Mockingbird which survives only on two small predator-free offshore islets.
Restoration actions on Floreana will allow the island’s unique fauna the opportunity to flourish, create the conditions for community tourism and help to attract new investment to the region.
We are working with partners to create an environment safe from invasive predators on Floreana, in order to reintroduce animals wiped out from the island including the Floreana Tortoise and Floreana Mockingbird, and recover other species including the Galápagos Petrel.
We are also working to establish a conservation breeding and predator control program to benefit Pink Iguanas, which exist only as a relic population of 300 individuals on top of the highest volcano in the Galápagos.
Banner collage image credits: Cristina Mittermeier, Shawn Heinrichs, Pedro Szekely, Paul Krawczuk