Alien species pathways to the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

M. Veronica Toral-Granda, Charlotte E. Causton, Heinke Jager, Mandy Trueman, Juan Carlos Izurieta, Eddy Araujo, Marilyn Cruz, Kerstin K. Zander, Arturo Izurieta, Stephen T. Garnett

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    28 Downloads (Pure)

    Abstract

    Alien species, one of the biggest threats to natural ecosystems worldwide, are of particular concern for oceanic archipelagos such as Galápagos. To enable more effective management of alien species, we reviewed, collated and analysed all available records of alien species for Galápagos. We also assembled a comprehensive dataset on pathways to and among the Galápagos Islands, including tourist and resident numbers, tourist vessels, their itineraries and visitation sites, aircraft capacity and occupancy, air and sea cargo and biosecurity interceptions. So far, 1,579 alien terrestrial and marine species have been introduced to Galápagos by humans. Of these, 1,476 have become established. Almost half of these were intentional introductions, mostly of plants. Most unintentional introductions arrived on plants and plant associated material, followed by transport vehicles, and commodities (in particular fruit and vegetables). The number, frequency and geographic origin of pathways for the arrival and dispersal of alien species to and within Galápagos have increased over time, tracking closely the increase in human population (residents and tourists) on the islands. Intentional introductions of alien species should decline as biosecurity is strengthened but there is a danger that unintentional introductions will increase further as tourism on Galápagos expands. This unique world heritage site will only retain its biodiversity values if the pathways for invasion are managed effectively.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article numbere0184379
    Pages (from-to)1-21
    Number of pages21
    JournalPLoS One
    Volume12
    Issue number9
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 13 Sep 2017

    Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Alien species pathways to the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Toral-Granda, M. V., Causton, C. E., Jager, H., Trueman, M., Izurieta, J. C., Araujo, E., Cruz, M., Zander, K. K., Izurieta, A., & Garnett, S. T. (2017). Alien species pathways to the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador. PLoS One, 12(9), 1-21. [e0184379]. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0184379