Essay on The Galapagos National Park Service Reported

Essay on The Galapagos National Park Service Reported

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By 2011 the Galápagos national park service reported that feral goats had been eradicated from all of the Galápagos, except for a few remaining on San Crisobal, Santa Cruz and parts of southern Isabela (Nicholls 2014). Already the positive impacts of the eradication of these invasive mammals have begun to show. In 2006 Guo reported that on Santiago, plants like cat’s claw and Galápagos guava were thriving which provides the native bird species, the Galápagos rail, with nesting grounds. Donlan (2007) also found that between 1986/7 and 2004/5 the population densities of Galápagos rail’s increased on Santiago, where mammal eradication has been successful, but populations have declined in the areas of the Isabela Island, where non-native mammal eradication hadn’t been completed. In addition to these findings, Márquez’ et al.’s study of the ‘Population response of Giant Galapagos Tortoises to feral goat removal’ found that “Monitoring revealed an increase in the proportion of juveniles among all tortoises as well as increased growth rates of individual tortoises on Alcedo Volcano from earlier to later phases of the eradication campaign. Over the same time frame in a control population on the nearby island of Santa Cruz (where goats and donkeys were not removed) juvenile fraction and individual growth rates remained unchanged” (2013, pp.181).

Vertebrate species aren’t the only species on the Galápagos threatened by invasive invaders, plant species are also vulnerable to damaging non-native species. There are around 750 invasive plant species on the islands, with 90% intentionally brought by people for agricultural or ornamental purposes (Galapagos Conservancy 2016).
One of the most invasive plants, that has had many adverse effects, e...

... middle of paper ...

...tinction in some extreme cases. The issue that conservationists face when it comes to dealing with invasive species, is that one method doesn’t solve the issue for all the species. If the management of invasive species is to be successful, each separate species needs a separate management plan; whether it be as straightforward as the complete eradication or as complex as introducing other species as a biological control of the non-native species. Although what method is best used for an invasive species isn’t always clear, what is clear is that every action we have as humans has a reaction in our natural habitats and ecosystems. The issue of invasive species isn’t going to be solved overnight, but it is also important that places like the Galápagos work on preventing any further invasive species reaching their islands, so no further damage is caused by these species.

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