Drones help Galapagos tackle rat infestation

BBC News

Drones are helping conservationists rid one Galapagos island of an infestation of rats threatening indigenous birds. The drones have dropped poison on more than half of North Seymour Island in a bid to kill off the invasive species. The island's rare birds nest on the ground and their numbers are being depleted by the rodent invasion. The drones work much faster and more cheaply than helicopters which have been used in similar rat eradication projects elsewhere. The infestation of brown and black rats was discovered in early 2018 and prompted action by NGO Island Conservation and the Galapagos' Ministry of the Environment to rid the territory of the pest.

Galapagos Islands photo tour sails to nine islands, with pros on board

Los Angeles Times

Most Galapagos Islands tours encourage participants to bring cameras. A new tour is described as an island photo adventure designed by photographers.

Plastic pollution reaches Darwin's Galapagos Islands where the seals now use bottles as toys

Daily Mail

Plastic pollution has reached Charles Darwin's Galapagos Islands and now seals on the remote archipelago have been spotted using bottles as toys. Even the Galapagos finches, named after the great English naturalist, are tragically lining their nests with plastic fibres. Tonnes of plastic are washing up on the protected shores of the islands, even though 97 per cent of the archipelago is off-limits to humans, according to community groups and scientists. In light of this, a new research project between local experts and international researchers has been launched to analyse how to hold back the tide of rubbish. Plastic pollution has reached Charles Darwin's Galapagos Islands and now seals on the remote archipelago have been captured using bottles as toys (pictured) Marine specialists from the University of Exeter are surveying currents and tide patterns to work out where the plastic is coming from, according to an exclusive report by ITV.

Tortoise Feared Extinct Found on Remote Galapagos Island

U.S. News

The only other living member of the species was found in 1906, the group said. Since then, expeditions have encountered tortoise scat and bite marks on cacti, and there was a possible unconfirmed sighting in 2009. But Sunday's discovery was the first confirmed sighting and together with the possibility of finding more members of the species has raised the possibility of breeding.

Tortoise feared extinct after 110-year no-show found on remote Galapagos island

The Japan Times

LIMA - A living member of a species of tortoise not seen in more than 110 years and feared to be extinct has been found in a remote part of the Galapagos island of Fernandina. An adult female Chelonoidis phantasticus, also known as the Fernandina Giant Tortoise, was spotted Sunday by a joint expedition of the Galapagos National Park and the U.S.-based Galapagos Conservancy, Ecuador's Environment Ministry said in a statement. Investigators think there may be more members of the species on the island because of tracks and scat they found. The team took the tortoise, likely more than 100 years old, to a breeding center for giant tortoises on Santa Cruz Island, where it will stay in a specially designed pen. The International Union for Conservation of Nature has the Fernandina Giant Tortoise listed as critically endangered and possibly extinct.