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HomeScienceThe minuscule return of Darwin's flycatcher on the Galapagos Islands

The minuscule return of Darwin’s flycatcher on the Galapagos Islands


A photo released by Galapagos National Park shows a little vermilion flycatcher, also known as Darwin’s flycatcher, in the Galapagos Islands where 12 new chicks were born in 2023 on Santa Cruz Island.

Darwin’s flycatcher, a small bird with striking crimson plumage, is making modest but remarkable progress in the Galapagos Islands in its battle from near-extinction, the national park in the remote archipelago said Thursday.

Only the remaining 15 pairs of attractive birds on Santa Cruz Island have produced 12 chicks this year, the zoo said.

This species is endemic to the Galapagos Islands, and is considered endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Darwin’s flycatchers reside on other islands in the chain, such as Pinzón, but their populations have been particularly threatened on Santa Cruz Island.

Galapagos National Park said an experimental management program there “has allowed 12 new chicks to add to the population” in a higher-altitude forest in Santa Cruz, where there are just 15 pairs.

“Every chick that is born is a new hope to save this endangered and red-listed species,” said the reserve’s director, Danny Rueda.

“These 12 new birds have been a real hit since the program started in 2018 and finally got results, and never more so than this year,” the zoo said.

She said the programme, a joint project with the Charles Darwin Foundation, the University of Vienna and the nonprofit Galapagos Conservancy, saw 21 chicks arrive in Santa Cruz between 2020 and 2022.

The Galapagos Archipelago, about 1,000 kilometers (600 miles) off the coast of Ecuador, has flora and fauna unlike anywhere else in the world. Observation of its wonders led British scientist Charles Darwin to develop his theory of evolution in the 19th century.

© 2023 AFP

the quote: In the Galapagos Islands, Darwin’s Flycatcher Makes a Tiny Return (2023, May 12) Retrieved May 12, 2023 from https://phys.org/news/2023-05-galapagos-islands-darwin-flycatcher-tiny.html

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