The Galapagos Islands have continually contributed to the development of ecological tourism, always helping to conserve the species that live there. That is why this work of nature was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1978.

Now let’s move on to Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island, where foreign scientists constantly work tirelessly, carrying out projects that involve conserving the Galapagos ecosystems. This is how the Charles Darwin Scientific Station was born in 1964, inside there is a Natural History Interpretation Center.

On the other hand, this station promotes educational projects that aim to support the conservation of these Galapagos Islands. Within these facilities there are restricted work areas for visitors, such as laboratories and offices that allow terrestrial and marine research. As well as a conference room and an illustrative collection of Natural History.

The Charles Darwin Research Station (Turtle Breeding)

The Charles Darwin Research Station is not only a tourist spot par excellence, but also offers open areas to the public, from the native gardens, exhibition halls and library for reading lovers.

We cannot fail to mention that the Charles Darwin Scientific Station serves as an active reproduction center, since it has all the elements of a national park, where more than 200 volunteers live.

As if that were not enough, there are many monitoring and conservation activities that are being carried out in this place, in which many marine and terrestrial species that live there are prioritized due to their great importance and their existence has been jointly addressed.

Giant tortoise (Geochelone elephantopus) at Charles Darwin Research Station on Santa Cruz, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

That is why the species and wildlife in this archipelago are very well protected. In fact, it is well known for the breeding of tortoises called “Galapagos”, where they are raised in captivity. These fascinating animals are unique in their age; they can live up to 150 years.

Charles Darwin Foundation Museum

For its part, The Museum was created from the Charles Darwin Foundation, in which it has been working for some years. It should be noted that this foundation was founded in 1959 in conjunction with the Ecuadorian government. It is a non-profit foundation, whose objectives are based on helping the development of scientific development, but above all on the conservation of the Galapagos Islands.

Another of the projects that this station has been managing has been the monitoring of invasive species in order to maintain and save those species that originally inhabit this archipelago.

Species of the Mangrove Finch

One of those species is the so-called ‘Mangrove Finch’ of which at least 84 mangrove finches have been documented. To protect this species, the foundation treats the eggs of said species with prior collection, until the hatching phase. Then they monitor them through chips and thus be able to locate them. Once they reach a certain age, they release them into their habitat.

If you are a tourist and have never visited the Galapagos Islands, keep in mind that from the beginning you will have self-guided information, where each of the species has its respective scientific name described in several languages ​​so that the information is very clear.

There is a kind of mini Museum where each of the vertebrates and invertebrates are, information on how each of those species is distributed. For example, different sizes of shells are shown for turtles, there are tiny species to the largest.

At the station there is a sale of clothing or merchandising, ideal for you to take home a souvenir. In fact, for every garment you buy, you will be doing your bit and helping the Charles Darwin Foundation.

Green Galapagos Project 2050

This is an initiative that has been taking place for years, and the person managing this project is Patricia Jaramillo. Where ecological establishment is involved, as well as sustainable agriculture and has been structured in several phases.

The first phase began in 2014 and ended in 2017, where local and international experts held a forum. These have continued to contribute their grain of sand for the continuity of this initiative, since as its name indicates, the project has a deadline of 2050.

Why 2050? According to Jaramillo, because the extinction of many species is predicted, although it sounds categorical. Year where, according to experts, it is estimated that global warming will affect the globe, where the Galapagos Islands are no exception.

Darwin’s finch

Many discoveries have been made at the Charles Darwin Station regarding the different islands. In that sense, it is worth highlighting the influence of the discovery of the “Darwin’s Finch”, which was the species Darwin focused on in order to shape the Theory of Evolution. These are now in danger of extinction due to the proliferation of flies that were introduced by humans, due to the lack of control that previously existed at airports.

It is worth mentioning that years ago people could carry fruits and other foods without restriction, and larvae eggs were already inside them. Being an invasive species, they realized that the flies killed the chicks of the Galapagos finch species. Because of this, several traps have been installed on the islands that allow these flies to be caught; they are usually deceived using papaya juice.

Finally, it is important to highlight the great work that is being carried out regarding the issue of sustainability. Sustainable development efforts in Galapagos aim to preserve the natural resources and ecosystem of the islands while meeting the needs of local communities. This includes practices such as ecotourism, conservation and responsible waste management.