Galapagos islands: mangrove finch threatened

This video is called Mangrove Finches Fight On, by Sue Maturin.

From The Independent in Britain:

Darwin finch could disappear from Galapagos islands

The Galapagos islands could be about to witness the first disappearance of a species in the 170 years since Charles Darwin’s historic visit, after scientists warned that the mangrove finch has been driven to the brink of extinction.

There are fewer than 50 pairs of the birds, the rarest of all of Darwin’s finches, left on the group of islands.

Despite occupying just one square kilometre of mangrove forest, their habitat is under threat from the arrival of humans. …

The finch is an elusive bird and Darwin himself never saw it during his survey.

Today it survives in just two patches of mangrove forest on the north-east coast of the largest island in the chain, Isobela.

‘Vampire’ Galapagos finches’ video: here.

From the Google cache, 8/23/05:The various species of Darwin’s finches of the Galápagos islands, contributed to forming Charles Darwin’s ideas on evolution when he came there.

Peter R. Grant, and B. Rosemary Grant

Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey 08544, USA.

Available online 22 August 2005.

Where can I find out more about Darwin’s finches?

J. Weiner, The Beak of the Finch, Alfred Knopf, New York (1994).

B.R. Grant and P.R. Grant, Evolutionary Dynamics of a Natural Population. The Large Cactus Finch of the Galápagos, University of Chicago Press, Chicago (1989).

P.R. Grant, Ecology and Evolution of Darwin’s Finches (2nd Edition), Princeton University Press, Princeton (1999).

P.R. Grant and B.R. Grant, Unpredictable evolution in a 30-year study of Darwin’s Finches, Science 296 (2002), pp. 707–711.

B.R. Grant and P.R. Grant, What Darwin’s finches can teach us about the evolutionary origin and regulation of biodiversity, Bioscience 53 (2003), pp. 965–975.

A. Abzhanov, M. Protas, B.R. Grant, P.R. Grant and C.J. Tabin, Bmp4 and morphological variation of beaks in Darwin’s finches, Science 305 (2004), pp. 1462–1465.

July 2010: The first stage of attempts to translocate mangrove finch is underway. The critically endangered species – a member of Charles Darwin’s finch group of the tanager family – currently survives in two small patches of mangrove on the west of Galapagos island of Isabela., with a small remant population of about five birds in the South East of the island: here.

Video: Galapagos penguins and pelicans: here.

Galapagos invasive plants: here.

Club-winged manakin bird of Ecuador mainland: here.

21 thoughts on “Galapagos islands: mangrove finch threatened

  1. Island birds show evolution is no one-way street

    Wed Nov 9, 2005 6:20 PM GMT

    LONDON (Reuters) – The popular view that islands were dead-ends of evolution may have to be rewritten after research published on Wednesday found exactly the opposite.

    Far from species hopping steadily down an island chain from a continent and coming to a dead stop, the research using new techniques shows the process can actually go into reverse and spread back to the continents.

    “People have always assumed that the source for biodiversity has been continents,” said co-author Christopher Filardi from the American Museum of Natural History.

    “The original source was continental but if you look at island lineages and analyze all the unique forms at once, as we have, you find that the Pacific is an engine of diversity … that can contribute to continental diversity,” he added.

    Along with fellow biologist Robert Moyle, Filardi studied the DNA of the Monarch flycatcher — a species of bird widely distributed in the South Pacific and generally taken as the model for the island dead-end evolutionary theory.

    The new research, published in Nature science journal, found that not only was the distribution of the birds not progressive but it began on the islands.

    “Islands aren’t just little landforms worth saving as icons of evolutionary quirkiness … They are important in a broader sense and may contribute significantly to future diversity of life on earth,” Filardi said.

    © Reuters 2005. All Rights Reserved.


  2. Great post and Beautiful pictures! Just wanted to throw it out there for anyone looking to travel to the Galapagos Islands that I have found Galapagos Inc by Wildlife Vacations ( to be a very helpful source for booking travel to the region.


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