Ecological restoration in Baltra Island

Ecological restoration in Baltra Island

Ecological restoration in Baltra Island: development of a method of restoration of arid ecosystems applicable on a large scale PC-22-22

This project is currently Active

Baltra is one of the islands of the archipelago that has suffered the greatest degradation due to its use as a U.S. Army air base during World War II. Today, most of the original vegetation has disappeared and the island is marked by abandoned infrastructure, metal debris, and waste. Baltra is also the first place tourists see when they arrive at the Galapagos Ecological Airport located on the island. For ecological reasons, as well as for the image that the Galapagos Islands convey to the world, as this is the first impression tourists have of the archipelago, it is necessary to establish a methodology for large-scale ecological restoration of the island. This is why GV2050 began efforts to restore the flora on this island in 2013, obtaining valuable results on the effectiveness of the use of water-saving technologies. In 2021, the relatively undegraded Seymour Norte Island was used as a reference ecosystem to generate restoration targets for Baltra. Because of this, the vegetation of woody species and cacti on Seymour Norte was evaluated, resulting in a list of 15 priority species and target densities for Baltra. With the information gathered, the project hopes to contribute to the conservation of Baltra through the development of an arid ecosystem restoration method applicable on a large scale on sites with different uses.

Our Research Team

Patricia Jaramillo Díaz

Principal Investigator

Patricia is an Ecuadorian researcher who came to Galapagos in 1996 to work on her PhD thesis about the “human impact on native, endemic and introduced flora on the Galapagos Islands” and since...

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Anna Calle

Project Assistant

Anna has always been fascinated by the biodiversity of the Galapagos Islands and the Amazon rainforest. Her desire to protect these unique ecosystems motivated her to pursue a Bachelor of Science in...

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Pavel Enríquez-Moncayo

Project Assistant

Pavel has always admired the people behind the great scientific discoveries both in his home, the Galapagos, as well as worldwide. Further, growing up in the "Enchanted Islands" allowed him to...

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Paúl Mayorga

Field Assistant

I was born and raised in these "Enchanted Islands", which meant from a young age I was naturally immersed in the conservation of the place where I live. Growing up with relatively little technology...

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David Cardenas

Field Assistant

David has always liked to explore nature, its richness, and its importance as a source of life. His passion for protecting and conserving nature motivated him to study Environmental Biotechnology at...

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Our results

As part of the results of this project, we expect to answer the following questions: 1) What ecological characteristics of Seymour Norte can be used as a reference for the natural areas that still exist on Baltra Island? 2) What water-saving technologies are most cost-effective for the 15 species in our Seymour Norte reference ecosystem? 3) How are the woody plants of Seymour Norte similar to those of Baltra?

Figura 22 gv2050 en 707x500

Figure 22. Map of Baltra Island showing the current study sites, the percentage of plants per site, the area and the percentage of plants per treatment. In addition, it considers the plantings made in the first phase of the project (red dots) and those made in the second phase (yellow dots).

Read more about our project on Baltra island (blogs):

2050 is being built today: Ecological Restoration of Baltra by Galapagos Verde 2050

The Galapagos Verde 2050 Project: We Want to See a Greener Baltra!

 Galapagos Verde 2050 Incorporates Biodegradable Cocoon Technology as Part of the Ecological Restoration of Baltra Island


Keywords: Baltra, arid ecosystem, water saving, ecological restoration, water scarcity, threatened species, Groasis, Hydrogel, Cocoon

Bibliographical References


The ‘Charles Darwin Foundation for the Galapagos Islands’, in French ‘Fondacion Charles Darwin  pour les Iles Galapagos’, Association Internationale sans but lucrative (AISBL), has its registered office at Avenue Louise 54, 1050 Brussels, Belgium. Trade Registry # 0409.359.103

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