Galapagos guard against invasive species


As Ecuador endures its worst economic downturn in 70 years, some here fear the crisis may indirectly harm the biologically unique Galapagos Islands. At issue is the prospect that mainland residents will want to move to the Galapagos to take advantage of more favorable employment and wage conditions on the archipelago, the focus of a thriving tourist industry. The concern is not that the islands are in immediate danger of overpopulation or over-development. Some 96% of the archipelago is protected, and tourism is tightly regulated. Rather, the fear is that increased human activity will accelerate the introduction of invasive species, which might one day destroy the islands’ ecosystem. “Invasive species are the single biggest threat to the Galapagos Islands at present,’’ says Robert Bensted... [Log in to read more]

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