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      Biosphere Reserve Information



  General Description   The Archipiélago de Colón –(Galápagos) Biosphere Reserve (also a National Park and a World Heritage site), is situated in the east Pacific Ocean, 1,000 km from the mainland of Ecuador, with the equator running through the Wolf and Ecuador volcanoes on Isabella Island. Situated on the Galapagos Submarine Platform, the Galapagos Islands consist of 13 islands formed 4 million years ago by volcanic processes and most represent the summit of a volcano, some of which rise over 3,000 meters from the Pacific Ocean floor. The larger islands typically comprise one or more gently sloping shield volcanoes, culminating in craters or calderas and the terrain are generally composed of uplifted marine lava flows. More than 250 species are non-native introductions occurring predominantly around human settlements. Coastal vegetation, influenced by the presence of salt, occurs along beaches, salt-water lagoons and low, broken, boulder-strewn shores. The endemic fauna includes invertebrate, reptile and bird species. There are a few indigenous mammals. All the reptiles are endemic, except two marine tortoises, and include giant tortoise (Geochelone elephantopus) , terrestrial iguanas (Conolophus subcristatus and C. pallidus), and marine iguana (Amblyrhynchus cristatus). The 1999 resident population numbered some 15,600 persons. Freshwater is a critically limiting factor, and only San Cristobal has adequate perennial supplies for the local human population. Tourism, cattle grazing and fishing are key components of the islands' economy. Immigration from the mainland is uncontrolled and increasing. Approximately 49,000 foreign and 14,000 national tourists visited the islands in 1997. The Government of Ecuador, IUCN and UNESCO - WCH, support the Charles Darwin Research Station jointly and work in programmes, which assist in the management of the reserve.
  Major ecosystem type   Tropical humid forests / Marine archipelago
  Major habitats & land cover types   Littoral zone; arid habitats; Scalesia forest composed of S. pedunculata, S. microcephala and S. cordata; Miconia communities with M. robinsoniana; Matazarno forest with Piscidia carthagenensis; fern- and sedge communities; marine habitats; agroecosystems with coffee, tomato, pepper, fruit etc.; pasture land.
  Location   North: Darwin Island: 01°39'N; 92°00'W
South: Floreana Island: 01°17'S; 90°26'W
East: San Cristóbal Island: 00°48'S; 89°25'W
West: Fernandina Island: 00°22'S; 91°31'W
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   14,761,844
  Core area(s)   65,040
  Buffer zone(s)   696,804 (defined as primitive-, special use- and visitor use zone)
  Transition area(s) when given   14,000,000 (marine reserve zone)
  Altitude (metres above sea level)   0 to +1,707
  Year designated   1984
  Administrative authorities   Parque Nacional Galápagos
  Brief description   Geology and meteorology
Galapagos giant tortoise (Geochelone elephantopus) breeding and raising in captivity
Galapagos land iguana (Conolophus subcristatus) breeding in captivity
Dark-rumped petrel (Pterodroma phaeopygia) conservation
Eradication and control of introduced organisms
Restoration of plant communities
  Specific variables...    
  Abiotic   Geology, meteorology.
  Biodiversity   Birds, breeding/reproduction, community studies/communities, conservation, plants, reintroduction, reptiles, restoration/rehabilitation/redevelopment.
  Socio-economic   n.a.
  Integrated monitoring   Management issues.
  Contact address   Danny Rueda Córdoba
Parque Nacional Galápagos
Av. Charles Darwin s/n, Puerto Ayola
 Santa Cruz
  Telephone   (593,2) 3987600 ext. 1420
(593) 098316916 (celular)
  Fax   (593.5) 52 61 90
  Web site

Last updated: 08/03/2011

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