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San Cristobal Biological Reserve

San Cristobal Biological Reserve

Located on the San Cristobal Island of the unique Galapagos archipelago, famous for the giant tortoise, conserves one of the last remnants of native vegetation on the higher portion of the island.


 

A GENERAL VISION

The Jatun Sacha Foundation is proud to announce its sixth Biological Station-Private Reserve on the San Cristobal Island in the Galapagos Archipelago. The Galapagos Islands sit in the Pacific Ocean about 1000 km west of Ecuador. Because the islands were never connected to the mainland, many species of plants and animals are unique to the Galapagos. In 1835, the young naturalist Charles Darwin, arrived on the islands. His collections from the Galapagos became central to his theory of how species evolve.

The Capital of the Galapagos Islands, Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, is located in San Cristobal. This island is one of the 5 inhabited islands of the Galapagos archipelago that for decades has been dedicated to agriculture, mainly producing sugar cane and coffee. About 5,400 people live here, and many work for the government or in fisheries.

The highland forests of the populated Islands in the Galapagos chain have been greatly altered due to the introduction of exotic and invasive species of animals and plants. Highland conservation, development and poverty issues have been almost completely neglected by conservation, development and government agencies. As a result of the lack of fruit and vegetable production on the Galapagos Islands, boats from the Ecuadorian mainland unload fruits and vegetables to hotels, restaurants, and markets on a daily basis. Quarantine regulations are consistently ignored and at least two exotic and/or invasive plant or faunal species enter the islands each day. This is the reason why one of the main current problems on the Galapagos islands is the introduction of non-native species (plants and insects), estimated at one or two new species introduced to the islands every day, mainly through the importation of food to the islands from mainland Ecuador.

Importantly, the local population, lacking most government services and suffering high unemployment levels, is almost completely excluded from working in and benefiting from the tourism industry: tour operators do nearly all their business from their boats, ignoring business possibilities with local Galapagueños.


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