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Mangrove Finch Project Thriving with Community Involvement

Date: February 15, 2015

In January, the Mangrove Finch project carried out a series community-oriented awareness events. Since 2010, the Charles Darwin Foundation (CDF) has collaborated with the local community on Isabela Island to increase awareness of and improve the conservation efforts for the Mangrove Finch’s (Camarynchus heliobates) endangered status. The project is funded from donors to the CDF from organizations like IGTOA.


With an estimated population of 80 individuals, the Mangrove Finch is the rarest bird in the Galapagos and inhabits just 30ha at two sites on Isabela Island. However, 2014 was an notable year for the project: It marks the first time a head-starting program began increasing the population size and range of the Mangrove Finch in the Galapagos. 


Community events were scheduled on January 14th and 15th, where bags of Mangrove Finch-themed items and informative literature were handed out to local residents. The gift sacks included picture booklets, wall calendars and vehicle sun visors. 


One of the key-features of the Mangrove Finch Project is the introduction of the conservation efforts to primary school children. Colorful Mangrove Finch-themed booklets, were distributed to the children and the project team explained the importance of protecting the mangrove habitats.  The events concluded with the showing of a 15-minute Mangrove Finch Documentary centering on the successful 2014 head-starting program. 


The trip overall was a huge success and project leader Francesca Cunninghame notes that “ With community awareness and support endangered species conservation is far more successful.” IGTOA members and donors should certainly be proud to see their donations aiding in important work, like the Mangrove Finch Project. 


It should be noted that the Mangrove Finch Project is supported by the CDF and the Galapagos National Park Directorate. You can read more about this exciting effort in the Darwin Foundation News Letter! 

Naomi West


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