From Wildlife Extra:
Boost for Galapagos petrel conservation
July 200. Park rangers from the Isabela Island in the Galapagos have confirmed the existence of a nest of a Galapagos petrel, an endemic species in Galapagos, in the agricultural zone of Isabela Island. Until now, it was not known that any Galapagos petrels nested on this island.
Thanks to information provided by the owners of several farms in the highlands on Isabela Island, the rangers began systematic monitoring to confirm or rule out the presence of Galapagos petrels in the area. During night-time searches, more than a dozen of these birds were spotted on different properties, the birds’ trills were heard as they flew overhead and fresh faeces and feathers were found.
Nest with egg found
At the site known as “The Infiernillo,” inside the Galapagos National Park boundaries, park rangers found a nest containing a petrel and an egg. If more proof a nesting colony is confirmed, this will increase the size of the population of Galapgos petrels in the archipelago. The search continues and hopes to find further important information, such as the number of active nests and the full distribution of the species. At the same time, rangers of the Isabela Technical Office have begun to carry out activities to control introduced rats – the main predator of the petrels in the islands where they nest.
Rat and cat control
“We must establish a monitoring system to control cat and rat populations to ensure the survival of this colony and to increase its size,” said Director of the GNP, Edgar Muñoz Heredia.
One of six endemic sea birds in the Galapagos
The Galapagos petrel is one of the six endemic marine birds of the archipelago. They nest in lava holes surrounded by dense vegetation in the highland areas of the islands of Santa Cruz, Santiago, San Cristóbal, Floreana and, now, in Isabela. Galapagos petrels live in pairs and they return to the same nest to lay a single egg each year. Currently, the Galapagos petrel is regarded as a species threatened with extinction according to the IUCN Red List. However, following recent management actions undertaken by the GNP in recent years, the Galapagos petrel has increased its reproductive success.
Courtesy of Parque Nacional Galápagos – Ecuador.