Galapagos to be the only Feral Goat-free archipelago by 2010 | September 23rd, 2008

Charles Darwin Foundation (CDF) wishes to acknowledge The Government of Ecuador and the Galapagos National Park (GNP) for their commitment to making Galapagos the first archipelago in the world to be free of feral goats by 2010. After the successful efforts of CDF and the GNP between 1998 and 2006 through The Isabela Project to control and eradicate introduced goats on the islands of Santiago and Isabela, and the excellent results in ecological restoration that have been achieved, the Government of Ecuador has undertaken to transform Galapagos into a worldwide example of conservation and preservation by establishing a US$15 million trust fund for control of invasive species in the archipelago through the Global Environment Facility (GEF). The Isabela Project is counted as one of the most important achievements in the protection of fragile ecosystems. Its success is owed to the collaboration of CDF and GNP scientists and administrators devoted to conserving and preserving the islands, and showing what dedicated teamwork can accomplish. The results of The Isabela Project are currently seen in the regeneration of the islands’ endemic flora and fauna, clearly signaling ecosystem recovery. The Ecuadorian Government’s primary aim is to continue monitoring and controlling invasive species through the GNP’s Operating Plan and to prevent damage to the islands. The Government’s initiative is one more step toward removing the Galapagos from the UNESCO List of World Heritage Sites in Danger.

Project Isabela, the largest goat eradication every undertaken anywhere, was successful thanks to major Kiwi input.
New Zealanders were involved in all aspects of the operation, planning, training, helicopter operators and shooters, as well as the dogs which were an essential element of the project. Thanks to this input, Ecuador is now able to mount its own operations to remove goats from the rest of the archipelago.