MONTHLY NEWSLETTER APRIL 2009
                      INF.BOL 22/05/09

April has come and gone and we are ready to review the month’s activities at the Charles Darwin

We’ll begin with the field trip that our research teammate Dr. Sharon Deem and Floreana
Mockingbird Health Study co-researcher Dr. Marilyn Cruz made with CDF volunteers Mari Cruz
Jaramillo and David Carroll to “Gardner by Floreana.” The purpose of the outing was to conduct a
health study of the Floreana mockingbird, a species currently found only on the Gardner and
Champion islets.
This study was a key component of the Floreana Mockingbird Reintroduction Project’s first phase.
Forty-seven mockingbirds were physically examined and samples were taken that will be
analyzed to establish the species’ overall health parameters and determine their exposure to
pathogens and parasites before reintroducing them to Floreana Island.
The field trip also produced samples from domestic hens and passerines living on Floreana
whose analysis will furnish the scientists Sharon Deem, Patricia Parker, Paquita Hoeck, and
Marilyn Cruz with information vital to the mockingbird reintroduction program in Floreana.

                              On another topic, Rachel Atkinson and Patricia Jaramillo did
                              Scalesia affinis population monitoring in the Garrapatero
                              enclosure as part of a Scalesia restoration project. The team
                              found that a number of individuals had succumbed to the intense
                              drought that affected the zone, but new seedlings were reported to
                              be in good condition from the surviving trees in this protected
                                                   Meanwhile, at Punta Núñez, Anne Guezou
                                                   and members of our Botany Team monitored
                                                   the Scalesia retroflexa population, which is
                                                   endemic to Santa Cruz Island and only
                                                   inhabits the Garrapatero and Punta Núñez
                                                   coast. In 2000, a protective enclosure was
                                                   built around the small population to prevent a
                                                   threat by feral goats. During monitoring, our
                                                   scientific team observed that the fencing had
                                                   been damaged, but that the population was
                                                   not adversely affected and remains in sound

We now turn our attention to Isabela Island, where CDF joined in setting up an Inter-institutional
                                                     Support Committee involving the Galapagos
                                                     National Park Service (GNP), Galapagos
                                                     National Institute (INGALA), Ecuadorian
                                                     Navy, Isabela Township, National Police,
                                                     Municipal General Hospital, Secondary
                                                     Health Center, Cantonal Political Authority,
                                                     National Police Headquarters, National
                                                     Institute of Children and the Family (INNFA),
                                                     Galapagos Inspection and Quarantine
                                                     System (SICGAL), Tomás de Berlanga
                                                     Parish Board, Fray Agustin de Azkunaga
                                                     High School, and Cornelio Izquierdo
                                                     Elementary School. The committee seeks to
                                                     jointly     undertake      and      coordinate
                                                     responsibilities     in     organizing    and
implementing jubilee year campaigns, forums, contests, movie showings, talks, conferences, and
pageants, etc., with optimal use of technical, administrative, human, and economic resources to
effectively communicate the messages of the pillars of sustainable development to the Isabela

Our parting words concern this year’s Galapagos celebrations for the bicentennial of Charles
Darwin’s birth, the 150th anniversary of the publication of his groundbreaking work “On the Origin
of Species,” and the 50th anniversary of CDF research for Galapagos protection and
conservation. To commemorate these events, CDF, Galapagos Conservation Trust, Ocean
Adventures, and Abercrombie & Kent have organized a 7-day Galapagos luxury cruise on board
the M/V Eclipse. The pleasure voyage will include such scheduled events as an exclusive cocktail
party with the British ambassador to Ecuador and a private reception and dinner at the Charles
Darwin Research Station with special guest Randal Keynes, Charles Darwin’s great-great
grandson. The cruise is a fundraising effort for the new Charles Darwin Center for Galapagos.

For further information, visit

      We wish to thank the donors who generously support the projects
                    mentioned in the Monthly Newsletter:
  Galapagos Conservancy,
Galapagos Conservation Trust
 Frankfurt Zoological Society
Galapagos Conservation Fund.

                       For more information:
 Alex Ontaneda

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