Santa Cruz Island, Ecuador
Santa Cruz Island, Ecuador

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Hearn A.R.,San Francisco de Quito University | Hearn A.R.,University of California at Davis | Green J.,Marine Megafauna Foundation Ecuador | Roman M.H.,Inter American Tropical Tuna Commission | And 3 more authors.
Marine Biology | Year: 2016

Most previous studies on whale shark movements have been on immature sharks. Here, we present tracking data for large females that we tagged at the Galapagos Islands, where they occur seasonally. We conducted fieldwork at Darwin Island (1.67, 92.0°W) from July to October in 2011 and in 2012. We often saw individual sharks several times on a particular day, but rarely saw them again more than 2 days later after they were first sighted. We tagged 39 female whale sharks, 36 of which were between 8 and 12 m long. We tracked 27 sharks for 9–176 days (median = 47 day). Sharks tagged in July moved west into the open ocean, whereas those tagged in September and October moved toward the coast of South America. They travelled between 49 and 2747 km from Darwin (median = 1296 km), at about 38 km day−1 (median rate). We observed five of those sharks later at various times at Darwin Island after >1 month absence, by photo-identification (n = 2) or satellite track (n = 3). Tracks that lasted through December ended along the continental shelf break of northern Peru. We show return movements of individuals through Darwin after moving large distances into the open ocean and establish connectivity with mainland Ecuador and Peru. © 2016, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


Herrera H.W.,Charles Darwin Research Station | Herrera H.W.,Ghent University | Sevilla C.R.,Galapagos National Park Directorate | Dekoninck W.,Ghent University | Dekoninck W.,Royal Belgian Institute Of Natural Sciences
Pan-Pacific Entomologist | Year: 2013

The first record and distribution of the bigheaded ant, Pheidole megacephala (Fabricius 1793) in the Galápagos Islands are reported. Major and minor workers have been collected in the towns of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno (San Cristóbal Island), Puerto Ayora (Santa Cruz Island), Puerto Villamil (Isabela Island) and in the highlands of San Cristóbal. Field surveys and a revision of the Formicidae collection in the Invertebrates collection at the Charles Darwin Research Station (ICCDRS), California Academy of Sciences (CAS) and Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (RBINS) suggest that this species reached the Galápagos Archipelago within the last seven years. The potential impact on native fauna of P. megacephala is discussed and appropriate measures to control and stop the spread of this species are mentioned. © 2013 Pacific Coast Entomological Society.


Gentile G.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Ciambotta M.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Tapia W.,Galapagos National Park Directorate
Conservation Genetics Resources | Year: 2013

Four species of iguanas occur in Galápagos. All of them are included in the red list of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and are protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. In Ecuador, attempting to remove wildlife from the Galápagos Islands is a serious environmental crime, punishable under Articles of the Ecuadorian Criminal Code. On July 2012, a tourist was arrested in Galápagos while trying to illegally transport four iguanas out of the province. The four iguanas, confiscated by the authorities of Galápagos National Park, needed rapid taxonomic identification and determination of geographic origin for the purposes of repatriation. The phylogenetic analysis of the Cytochrome b sequence data contributed to the unequivocal molecular taxonomic identification of the four confiscated iguanas, each of which belonged to the species Conolophus subcristatus. The genetic data unambiguously indicated that the four confiscated iguanas had been subtracted from the same population, currently distributed in Baltra and Seymour Norte. The use of molecular tools proved crucial for the rapid assessment of the population of origin. Such a rapid assessment was possible because a large genetic database was already available for Galápagos iguanas. It is recommended that genetic programs be developed for the complete genetic characterization of wildlife in Galápagos as well as in other areas of endemism worldwide. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.


Rueda D.,Galapagos National Park Directorate | Campbell K.J.,Island Conservation | Campbell K.J.,University of Queensland | Fisher P.,Landcare Research | And 2 more authors.
Conservation Evidence | Year: 2016

Rat eradication resulted in prolonged presence of the anticoagulant rodenticide brodifacoum in exposed lizards, likely significantly contributing to the deaths of secondarily exposed raptors up to at least 773 days after bait application. © 2016, University of Cambridge. All Rights Reserved.

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