Tag Archives: Invasive Species

Trip to the west of the archipelago

Hello from Galapagos,

Sorry I have not been in touch for a while, but I’m back with lots of news. During the month of February my supervisors Professor Terry Dawson and Dr Ken Collins came to visit me in the Galapagos Islands. For their arrival I organised a diving trip to the west of the archipelago to search for marine invasive species. The itinerary was to leave the Island of Santa Cruz and travel toward the island of Santiago spend a day diving there and then travel all the way up the coast of Santiago and the east of Isabela Island round the top to Punta Vicente Roca where to our surprise we found orcas and sunfish at one of our dive spots. From this point we travelled to the island of Fernandina, which is the island most west of the archipelago where a huge upwelling occurs. After Fernandina we slowly made our way down Canal Bolivar stopping at different dive spots we have on the way. During the dives we found Caulerpa racemosa var. occidentalis and Asparagopsis taxiformis in a few of the sites. These two types of algae are known to be invasive in other parts of the world and are established in the Galapagos Marine Reserve but do not show an invasive behaviour. At this time there are 6 of these species that are on our watch list. This means we are keeping an eye on them in case they change their behaviour and start affecting the ecosystems because of some change in the environment due to climate variations or physical changes.

This trip was part of the yearly monitoring for marine invasive species around the archipelago. At the end of the trip we stopped off at Puerto Villamil, which is one of the inhabited ports on the island of Isabela, here I presented our findings to the Galapagos National Park and the community. There was a lot of interested and I have been asked to return to the island and give another talk to the schools in the area. In Puerto Villamil we also held meetings with some of the collaborating institution that are the Galapagos NationalPark and the Ecuadorian Navy. The last activity we conducted was theport monitoring around the main passenger docks, cargo docks and navigation buoys.

 More from the Galapagos soon,

Inti

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Galapagos Islands

The New Year brings, new research and with it this great new initiative called CECHR Sphere. My name is Inti and I am excited to share my research and adventures on this site.

 I am a PhD candidate at the University of Dundee in the School of the Environment studying Marine Invasive Species in the Galapagos Marine Reserve. I am based in the Galapagos Islands on the Island of Santa Cruz and in the town of Puerto Ayora where I work in collaboration with the Charles Darwin Research Station. My research looks to minimise the negative impacts of invasive species on marine biodiversity, ecosystem services and the health of the Galapagos Marine Reserve, I will be using geospatial treatments of local and regional marine invasive species distributions and combining them with marine traffic routes that will help me identify hotspots of transmission and propagation within the Galapagos Marine Reserve and the wider Eastern Tropical Pacific. Furthermore the use of oceanographic modelling systems and risk assessment tools will be used to predict possible invasions and assist local stakeholders such as the Galapagos National Park and the Biosecurity Agency with management strategies. In the following months I will be organising field trips around the Galapagos Marine Reserve and the main ports of the islands conducting monitoring surveys looking for marine invasive species. I will update you on my adventures and post my findings.

Wishing you a great day from the Galapagos Islands