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Leaders from the Galápagos conservation community, including Jean Pierre Cadena (left), Executive Director of the Galápagos Biosecurity and Quarantine Agency, Sade Fritschi, Ecuador’s Minister of the Environment, and Washington Tapia, General Director of Galápagos Conservancy, sign genetic research agreement.

New Agreement Facilitates Genetic Research to Help Save Endangered Species in Galápagos

 Galapagos Conservancy signed an important new agreement on February 3, 2024 with the Ecuadorian Ministry of Environment, Water, and Ecological Transition. This agreement is a step forward in an initiative by the Galapagos Biosecurity and Quarantine Agency and Galapagos Conservancy, to use molecular genetic technology to aid conservation efforts on the islands.
This cooperation will enable the development of genetic research of endemic and introduced species in Galápagos. Erika Guerrero, environmental analyst at the Galápagos Biosecurity and Quarantine Agency, will participate in these investigations.
©Galápagos Conservancy

Washington Tapia, our General Director and Jean Pierre Cadena of the Galapagos Biosecurity and Quarantine Agency were present at the signing ceremony. Also in attendance was Sade Fritschi from Ecuador’s Ministry of Environment. Tapia said that “Galapagos Conservancy will play a vital role in fostering innovative studies. We are confident that information collected, including the genome description of giant turtles and other iconic species, is going to be instrumental in optimal management and conservation for the archipelago’s emblematic species”.

This agreement promises several important benefits:

  • Precise Species Identification: The Molecular Analysis of Genetic Samples that can be exported now under this agreement, will allow the accurate identification and conservation of many species.
  • Optimised breeding programs: Captive rearing programmes can be improved significantly by identifying the best breeding groups.
  • Early diagnosis: Identification of high-risk diseases that affect endemic wildlife will allow for timely, effective response measures.

It will be crucial to make informed decisions regarding resource management and conservation for Galapagos that we can now analyze genetic samples taken from Galapagos using modern molecular-genetic technologies.

This initiative allows for a joint effort between Ecuadorian authorities and Galapagos Conservancy to conserve endemic Galapagos species.

Paulina Castillo, Laboratory Assistant at the Galapagos Biosecurity and Quarantine Agency, conducts essential serological analyses, underlining the critical research efforts in Galápagos.
©Galápagos Conservancy
Giant tortoise blood samples collected in the southern part of Isabela will be analyzed under the Framework Agreement for Access to Genetic Resources.
©Galápagos Conservancy