For more than half a century, the Charles Darwin Foundation (CDF) has supported a thriving research station in Ecuador’s Galapagos Islands. Scientists at the station have helped to bring the iconic Galapagos tortoise back from the brink of extinction and to eradicate invasive goats from Isabela, the largest island in the Galapagos archipelago.
Today’s Featured Organization is The Charles Darwin Foundation, currently facing serious financial problems.
The Charles Darwin Foundation is responsible for bringing the Galapagos tortoise from the brink of extinction and maintaining the Giant Tortoise repatriation program. They work to conserve and increase the population of a multitude of critically endangered animals. The CDF has worked to save the mangrove finch (current population of approximately 80) to the Land Iguana (Also part of a breeding and repatriation program) and many more. They have also provided a wealth of environmental research and facilitated conservation efforts world wide.
A recent article in Scientific America highlights the increasing financial trouble facing the organization since the forced closing of its gift shop.
From the article:
But that long legacy is being threatened by a spat with the local government, which could force the Charles Darwin Research Station to close. In July, officials on Santa Cruz island ordered the CDF to shut its lucrative gift shop in the town of Puerto Ayora, citing complaints from restaurateurs and shop owners who said that the store was siphoning away their business. That has deprived the foundation of at least $8,000 per week in income; total losses could reach $200,000 if the shop remains closed for the rest of the year, the foundation says.
“The closure of the store basically ruined our 2014 budget,” says CDF president Dennis Geist, a volcanologist who has studied Galapagos sites for 30 years. “We have no endowment. We don’t even have any reserve funds. The closing of the Darwin station is a very realistic possibility right now.”
Where would we be without the CDF? Would we know that glorious sight that is a giant tortoise reaching up its neck for a snack?
Become a Member: http://www.darwinfoundation.org/en/get-involved/become-member/
And spread the word. Many aren’t aware of the struggles facing the organization.