Conservation Problem

The Mangrove finch is one of the world’s rarest birds with an estimated population of around 100 individuals. Before 2009, there were three mangrove forests which provided a habitat for this bird; now there are only two. Like many of the Darwin finches, the Mangrove is currently threatened by introduced predators such as rats, cats and a fly whose larvae feed on finch nestlings. Furthermore, like all localized populations, the species is also threatened by potential habitat loss, due to the possibility of devastating tidal waves and volcanic eruptions

The mangrove finch was formerly found on Fernandina and Isabela Islands. However populations have been so seriously reduced they are now only found in two tiny areas on Isabela. It could be the first registered extinction of a bird in Galapagos.

Project Activities

This SOS - Save Our Species project implemented by the Charles Darwin Foundation and Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust will monitor the existing populations of mangrove finches while looking for other places where they can settle and thrive. Right now the population is kept small by the tiny areas they inhabit. Together with the people of Puerto Villamil project staff will work to restore an area near the town where they used to live, and hope that by rearing very small birds there they can be encouraged to settle in these wetlands.

Project Outcomes

This project seeks to improve the status and reduce the extinction risk of the critically endangered Mangrove Finch, trial resettlement and extension of the bird's natural range, with habitat protection for the mangrove forests which form their only habitat.

New safe habitats for the Mangrove finch will be established, so they can settle, breed and increase their numbers under the protection of the Galapagos National Park Service and the community of Isabela island.

  • 11A-23-94, Michael Dvorak, CDF, Mangrove Finch
    Know the enemy: lessons from the labs on Galapagos
    It may be a little unfair to wage war on a fly. But for SOS grantee and IUCN Member, Charles Darwin Foundation (CDF), Philornis downsi, deserves it. This parasitic insect is in the unfortunate situati...
  • Mangrove Finch, SOS - Save Our Species, CDF
    World First! Captive-bred Mangrove finches released into natural habitat
    With the release of 15 captive bred Critically Endangered Mangrove finches we are delighted to report a world first from SOS Grantee and IUCN Member, The Charles Darwin Foundation (CDF). Today in coll...
  • Mangrove Finch, SOS - Save Our Species, CDF
    First ever Mangrove Finch to be hatched in captivity!
    Another conservation success story from the field! Today, SOS Grantee and IUCN member, Charles Darwin Foundation for the Galapagos Islands (CDF) shared exciting news of a world first for the Criticall...
  • Global Map
    Scientists identify the world’s most irreplaceable protected areas
    A new scientific study has identified the protected areas most critical to preventing extinctions of the world’s mammals, birds and amphibians. Resulting from an international collaboration, this anal...
  • Preparing for shadow theater performance
    Shadow theatre raises awareness for the critically endangered Mangrove Finch on Galapagos islands.
    Please view our short prezi video to learn about this innovative approach, where conservationists engage in a fun and educative manner with local communities and especially children!
Amazing Species Profile
SOS - Save Our Species
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