Galapagos Report 2010


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Galapagos Report 2009-2010 addresses a wide range of issues related to the natural world, the inhabited areas of Galapagos, and the impacts of social and economic activities of humans in Galapagos ecosystems. Understanding the interactions between the natural world and humans, as well as the connections between Galapagos and the rest of the world, is essential to developing sound policy and a shared vision for the future.

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Galapagos Report 2010

  1. 1. GALAPAGOS REPORT 2009-20103
  2. 2. Galapagos Report 2009-2010Prepared byFunded byGeneral coordinationM. Verónica Toral Granda, Charles Darwin FoundationAndrea Marín Luna, Charles Darwin FoundationSupervisionDr. J. Gabriel López, Charles Darwin FoundationDr. Christophe Grenier, Charles Darwin FoundationWork groupWashington Tapia, Galapagos National ParkDaniel Proaño, Governing Council of GalapagosLinda J. Cayot, Galapagos ConservancyEditingM. Verónica Toral Granda, Charles Darwin FoundationLinda J. Cayot, Galapagos ConservancyAndrea Marín Luna, Charles Darwin FoundationTranslation - Spanish to EnglishLinda J. Cayot, Galapagos ConservancyRichard Knab, Galapagos ConservancyFigures and Graphic DesignMaría Fabiola AlvarezPhotographsFront cover: Celso MontalvoBack cover: Jacintha Castora PhotographyPrintingImprenta Monsalve MorenoISBN 978-9978-53-045-0Copyright Registration Number: 035173How to cite this documentCDF, GNP, and Governing Council of Galapagos, 2010. Galapagos Report2009-2010. Puerto Ayora, Galapagos, Ecuador.How to cite an articleAuthor(s). 2010. Article title. In: Galapagos Report 2009-2010. Puerto Ayora,Galapagos, Ecuador.Sources must be cited in all cases. Sections of the publication may be trans-lated and reproduced without permission as long as the source is cited.The authors of each article are responsible for the contents and opinionsexpressed.The Charles Darwin Foundation operates the Charles Darwin ResearchStation in Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos. The Charles DarwinFoundation is an International Non-profit Organization (AISBL, registered inBelgium with the number 371359) and subject to Belgian law. The addressin Belgium is Rue Dupré 15, 1090 Brussels.4
  3. 3. The Governing Council of Galapagos, the Galapagos National Park Service, and the CharlesDarwin Foundation are pleased to present Galapagos Report 2009-2010--a compilation of social,economic, political, and biological analyses that will assist decision-makers and help deepen ourunderstanding of the many diverse and complex challenges facing the archipelago.Galapagos is one of the best conserved archipelagos in the world, but the long-term protec-tion of its unique biodiversity and ecosystems requires effective policies and actions to ensureboth sustainable development and long-term conservation. These measures must be based onsound information and analysis.Galapagos Report 2009-2010 addresses a wide range of issues related to the natural world,the inhabited areas of Galapagos, and the impacts of social and economic activities of humans inGalapagos ecosystems. Understanding the interactions between the natural world and humans,as well as the connections between Galapagos and the rest of the world, is essential to develop-ing sound policy and a shared vision for the future.Our three institutions remain committed to working with all Galapagos stakeholders to builda shared vision for Galapagos and to ensure the long-term sustainability of one of the world’smost important natural treasures.FOREWARDIng. Fabián ZapataPresidentGoverning Council ofGalapagosBiól. Edwin NaulaDirectorGalapagos National ParkDr. J. Gabriel LópezDirectorCharles Darwin Foundation5development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
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  5. 5. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS7The 2009-2010 edition of the Galapagos Report wasprepared by three Galapagos-based institutions: theCharles Darwin Foundation (CDF), the GalapagosNational Park (GNP), and the Governing Council ofGalapagos (GCG). Internal coordination for the pro-duction of the articles was provided by WashingtonTapia (GNP) and Daniel Proaño (GCG). We extend oursincere thanks to all of the authors for their time anddedication in the preparation of the articles includedin this publication.The articles presented in the Report representcontributions from many people and institutions,including: the Ecuadorian Agency for AgriculturalQuality Assurance (AGROCALIDAD), the NationalDirectorate of Aquatic Areas of the Ecuadorian Navy(DIRNEA), the Ministry of Transportation and PublicWorks (MTOP), the Provincial Transit Commissionand the Transportation Cooperatives of SanCristóbal, Santa Cruz, and Isabela, the NationalInstitute of Statistics (INEC), the Ministry of Tourism,municipal governments, various tour agencies andoperators, dive tour operators, tourist guides, lead-ers and members of the fishing cooperatives ofGalapagos, and members of the Galapagos commu-nity who participated in opinion surveys.The report was improved by photographic con-tributions from Celso Montalvo, Claudio Crespo,Elizabeth Knight, George Hillman, Jacintha CasthoraPhotography, Johnny Vásquez, Juan Carlos Guzmán,Mandy Trueman, Marco Rodríguez, MaryWitoshynsky, Mónica Calvopina, Sharon Deem,Susana Chamorro, Verónica Toral, Emmanuel Cléder,Christophe Grenier, and Etienne Ouvrard.The overall coordination, publication, transla-tion, and dissemination of the 2009-2010 GalapagosReport were made possible by a generous grantfrom the Galapagos Conservancy (GC), a US-basedconservation organization dedicated exclusively toconserving the unique biodiversity and ecosystemsof Galapagos. Galapagos Conservancy also providedpersonnel who worked closely with the coordinatorof the Report, both in editing and translations.Finally, several organization and donors provid-ed funding for some of the research presented in theReport. It would not have been possible to carry outthe field work, analyses, and syntheses of the resultswithout their contributions. We express our sinceregratitude to:• BESS Forest Club• Conservation International• Frankfurt Zoological Society• Galapagos Conservancy• Galapagos Conservation Trust• International Watch Company - Schaffhausen• Keidanren Nature Conservation Fund• Lindblad/National Geographic Fund• Nordic Friends of Galapagos• Proyecto BID ATN/SF-10957-EC• The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust• Swiss Friends of Galapagos• Oak Philanthropy Limited• Stanley Smith Horticultural Trust• The Truell Charitable Foundation• World Wildlife FundPhoto: Jacintha Castora Photography
  6. 6. Institutional PresentationGoverning Council of the Special Region of GalapagosOn the 10th of April 2007, following an analysis of the status of conservation and development inthe Galapagos Islands, the Ecuadorian Government’s Presidential Decree Nº 270 declared that theGalapagos Archipelago is at risk and its conservation and environmental management are anational priority.Article 258 of the 2008 Constitution of the Republic of Ecuador states: “The Galapagosprovince will have a special governance structure. Planning and development will be conductedin strict adherence to the principles of conservation of the Nation’s natural heritage in accordanceto law.” Under presidential decree Nº 1880 (August 5, 2009), the two main governing institutionsin Galapagos, the National Institute of Galapagos (INGALA) and the Provincial Government ofGalapagos, were combined into a single institution.The process of combining the two institutions began on October 20, 2009, with the forma-tion of the Governing Council of the Special Region of Galapagos. All active and passive assets,employees, and responsibilities of INGALA and the Provincial Government were transferred to theGoverning Council.The Governing Council is the entity responsible for planning and coordination in theGalapagos province. It is committed to open dialogue and consensus among decision-makersand local communities and ensuring a balance between humans and nature that is essential tosustainable human development.The authority given to this new institution has allowed for the continuity and implementa-tion of a series of strategic programs and projects: immigration control, implementation of infor-mation and communication technologies for development, the strengthening of local govern-ments, planning for territorial zoning, education and human resource capacity building, andmanagement of the natural resources of Galapagos, with special emphasis on the control of inva-sive species.The new mission, vision, and values of the Governing Council of Galapagos are focused onsuccessfully implementing these strategic lines of action.Mission:The Governing Council of Galapagos is a governance structure created by constitutionalmandate with authority to administer the Province. Through its planning activities it permitssustainable human development while ensuring the conservation of Ecuador’s natural her-itage. Managing resources with transparency, responsibility, the best available technology,and a commitment to service, we guarantee a high quality of life in Galapagos.Vision:The Governing Council of Galapagos is a model government in its administration of theGalapagos Province, ensuring human development and protection of the environment.Values:The Governing Council of Galapagos is ethical, respectful, transparent, and balanced in itswork.
  7. 7. Photo Page 8 : M. Verónica Toral Granda
  8. 8. development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010INTRODUCTIONSustainability in Galapagos: the needfor a shared vision and collaborativework for the good of the ecosystemsand the human population1Galapagos National Park2Charles Darwin Foundation3Governing Council of GalapagosGalapagos is recognized as a model of conservation. It is in fact a nat-ural laboratory where evolutionary processes can be observed andwhere unique ecosystems have largely been preserved.However, it is also true that for more than a century, since thefirst permanent human population was established, Galapagos hasundergone continued, exponential growth and has become a sociallaboratory, with a human population with many different origins, andas one would expect, many distinct interests. The problem arises withthe recognition that Galapagos is a geographically isolated oceanicarchipelago with few business opportunities that are both profitableand environmentally-friendly.There are those who believe that this is not a problem given thatthere are many natural resources in Galapagos that can be exploited.But what many do not realize is that these resources include bothbiotic and abiotic elements of unique ecosystems, which in the caseof Galapagos are fragile and have developed in complete isolation.Moreover they are resources needed for our survival and for the sur-vival of future generations.Photo: Jacintha Castora Photography11development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  9. 9. Photo: Daniela Chalén12In the last 15 years, the archipelago has undergoneuncontrolled economic and population growthresulting from continually increasing tourism, withcorresponding increases in the generation of wasteand demands for water and energy. This process hasalso been accompanied by a significant increase inthe number of motorized vehicles and cargo ships,and the rapid expansion of a consumer lifestyle that isin direct conflict with the ecological reality of thisfragile archipelago.Humans have destroyed many of the geographicbarriers described by Darwin to help explain the evo-lution of the Galapagos biota. The results are clear:increasing numbers of invasive species, new threatsto the endemic flora and fauna, severe tension relatedto the provision of basic services, the arrival of pan-demic viruses, and increasing social problems com-monly found in rapidly changing societies through-out the world.There is a simple lesson that should be learnedfrom this. Galapagos is not a paradise separate from therest of the world. It is a constellation of very fragileecosystems that now requires special care and atten-tion to ensure that the forces of globalization do notovercome its capacity to assimilate, adapt, and recu-perate from natural and human-made disturbances.At this critical juncture, we must ask ourselvesimportant questions. How do we best share the mes-sage regarding the limits to growth that exist in sucha fragile and emblematic ecosystem? Are there alter-natives to the scenarios of growth that have ultimate-ly led to environmental degradation and the impover-ishment of the populations in other fragile ecosys-tems around the world?We ask ourselves these questions becauseGalapagos is at a crossroads with a narrow window ofopportunity to act in a decisive manner to put thearchipelago on a path to sustainability.The development of a shared vision for the futureof Galapagos is urgently needed. Arriving at thisvision requires reflection on a number of questionsthat are both simple and complex. Can naturalresources be exploited in Galapagos as they are inother parts of the world? What will happen to thehuman population if Galapagos loses the species andlandscapes that attract visitors? Is it possible to devel-op profitable businesses that can guarantee the wel-fare of the local population? Is it possible to achievehuman development without the conservation ofnature and vice versa? There are many questions butonly one response: a healthy and sustainable popula-tion and economy and a high quality of life for thepopulation of Galapagos require healthy and resilientnatural ecosystems.In this sense it is clear that while urgent measuresare needed to increase the resiliency of ecosystemsdevelopment communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  10. 10. confronted by human activity and the erosion of geo-graphic isolation, it is equally essential to understandand accept that the Galapagos social system requiresa profound transformation in terms of its structure,without which policies and management models willbe ineffective over the long term (Tapia et al., 2009).This transformation depends upon those wholive in Galapagos, as well as those in continentalEcuador and throughout the world, who have aninterest in conserving the archipelago and improvingthe quality of life of its human population. We mustbegin by recognizing that the only reason thatGalapagos is at risk is that it continues to be an archi-pelago in an excellent state of conservation. Theislands still have nearly all of the species and ecosys-tems that developed thousands or millions of yearsago, before humans even knew the islands existed. Itis critical that we learn to live in balance with the nat-ural systems in Galapagos, even if this means that wemust modify our way of life.The Galapagos ecosystem is extremely fragileand complex with strong links and interconnectionsamong ecological, social, and economic components.It is time to plan and implement whatever actions areneeded to protect this system, however simple theymay seem. We must all understand that resiliency isnot an absolute and fixed property. On the contrary,resiliency is variable over time and dependent in alarge part upon the actions of humans. The ancientHeraclitus stated,“There is nothing permanent exceptchange.” This statement gains greater validity in anincreasingly globalized world when speaking of sus-tainability. The transformation of complex systemssuch as Galapagos is inevitable, especially whenEcuador and the entire region are undergoing aprocess of transformation and adaptation to change.The biodiversity and ecosystems of Galapagos—properly managed—are capable of sustaining a qual-ity life for local residents. However the economicmodel in Galapagos and lifestyle of the local popula-tion will determine whether or not this balancebetween humans and nature is met. Twelve years ago,the Special Law for Galapagos called for conservationand sustainable development in the province.Achieving these goals will require consideration ofboth the natural and socioeconomic systems inGalapagos at all levels of decision-making.A new integrated vision of a sustainable andequitable society that lives in harmony with the natu-ral resources of Galapagos could be the solution forthe islands and at the same time serve as a model forthe world. But this vision must be built among allstakeholders, with a focus on both the short and longterm. This is still possible in Galapagos. Galapagos res-idents understand the need for change. The currentprocess to develop the new Special Law forGalapagos is forcing us to evaluate the situation andmake decisions that will lead us to a better, more sus-tainable future. But time is short. Clear, direct, andwell-founded decisions and actions are required.The current situation in the islands requires thecooperation and goodwill of all institutions and indi-viduals concerned about Galapagos and interested inbuilding a future that will ensure both the long-termconservation of the unique ecosystems of the archi-pelago and the welfare of its inhabitants. The chal-lenge is huge and time is short. The responsibility isours. Future generations will judge whether or not wemet the challenge.13development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  11. 11. TABLE OF CONTENTSForeword 05Acknowledgements 07Institutional Presentation – Governing Council of the Special Region of Galapagos 09Introduction: Sustainability in Galapagos 11TRANSPORTATIONOptimizing marine transport of food products to Galapagos: 19advances in the implementation planFabián Zapata Erazo and Marcelo Martinetti GranjaTaxis in Santa Cruz: Uncontrolled mobilization 29Emmanuel Cléder and Christophe GrenierTransporting passengers by launches in Galapagos 40Etienne Ouvrard and Christophe GrenierThe first complete motorized vehicle census in Galapagos 48Marco Oviedo, Javier Agama, Enrique Buitrón and Franklin ZavalaMARINE MANAGEMENTIdentification of rearing areas for blacktip sharks Carcharhinus limbatus 57in the mangrove stands of coastal San Cristóbal IslandYasmania Llerena, Juan Carlos Murillo and Eduardo EspinozaHammerhead sharks of Galapagos: their behavior and migratory patterns 64César Peñaherrera, James Ketchum, Eduardo Espinoza, Alex Hearn and Peter KlimleyPopulation ecology of two species of chitons, Chiton goodallii and Chiton sulcatus, 70in the rocky coastline of San Cristóbal Island, GalapagosJuan Carlos Murillo PosadaA revised strategy for the monitoring and management of the Galapagos sea cucumber 76Anna Schuhbauer, Matthias Wolff and Mauricio CastrejónGEOGRAPHIC FOOTPRINTChanges in land use and vegetative cover in the rural areas 85of Santa Cruz and San CristóbalÁngel Villa C and Pool SegarraSIMAVIS – System of Managing Visitors of the Galapagos National Park 93Günther Reck, María Casafont, Edwin Naula and Magaly OviedoWater quality monitoring system in Santa Cruz, San Cristóbal, and Isabela 103Javier López and Danny RuedaRapid, recent and irreversible habitat loss: Scalesia forest on the Galapagos Islands 108André Mauchamp and Rachel Atkinsondevelopment communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -201015
  12. 12. 16The commercial sector of Puerto Ayora and its relation to the environment 113Pamela Villarreal and Christophe GrenierThe geographic opening of Galapagos 121Christophe GrenierThe national tourist in Galapagos: Practices and perceptions of the environment 130Verenitse Valencia and Christophe GrenierThe construction sector of Puerto Ayora 137Walter Jimbo and Christophe GrenierA geographic index to measure the carrying capacity for tourism in the 143populated centers of GalapagosChristophe GrenierEconomic dynamics and the workforce of Galapagos 151Teodoro Bustamante PonceBIODIVERSITY AND ECOLOGICAL RESTORATIONNative gardens for Galapagos – can community action help 159to prevent future plant invasions?Rachel Atkinson, Mandy Trueman, Anne Guézou, Patricia Jaramillo,Marco Paz, José Sanchez, Yolanda Sánchez and Miriam SilvaOptimizing restoration of the degraded highlands of Galapagos: 164a conceptual frameworkMark Gardener, Rachel Atkinson, Danny Rueda and Richard HobbsGalapagos in the face of climate change: considerations for biodiversity 170and associated human well-beingNoémi d’Ozouville, Giuseppe Di Carlo, Fernando Ortiz, Free De Koning,Scott Henderson and Emily PidgeonGalapagos as a laboratory for sustainability: Lessons from the International 177Workshop on Sustainability of Islands in a Globalized World, Santa Cruz Island,Galapagos, 22-26 March 2010Arturo Izurieta ValeryREFERENCES 183development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -201016development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  13. 13. 18Photo Title Page Transportation Section: Jacintha Castora Photography
  14. 14. 19development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010Table 1. Quantity of cargo transported from continental Ecuador by air and maritime routes (2009).Optimizing marine transport of foodproducts to Galapagos: advances inthe implementation planGoverning Council of GalapagosMaritime transport has been the principal means of supplying theGalapagos population with a wide range of products. Since the veryfirst humans inhabited Galapagos, cargo ships have transported pro-visions and other products unavailable in Galapagos in shipmentsthat increased in size and frequency with the growth of the popula-tion. Today, 86.7% of cargo destined for Galapagos is transported bysea, since maritime transport is the most inexpensive means of deliv-ering goods to the archipelago (Table 1). However, maritime trans-port presents greater probability of food safety problems because ofthe poor quality of docks, ships, and the latent risk of transportingand introducing invasive pests to Galapagos. It is estimated thatmore than 75% of the food products that arrive in Galapagos entervia maritime routes (Zapata, 2007). Guayaquil is the primary portfrom which cargo is shipped to Galapagos.Photo: Jacintha Castora Photography
  15. 15. development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010Economic development has generated a continualincrease in the demand for agricultural productsamong inhabitants of the islands and the thousandsof tourists who visit Galapagos annually. Food prod-ucts are transported to Galapagos from different partsof Ecuador under climatologically adverse conditions.Physical damage is common, caused by improperhandling, pests, temperature changes, and prolongedstorage.Optimizing maritime cargo transportOn January 21, 2008, the INGALA Council approved aproject and implementation plan entitled “A Systemto Optimize Maritime Transport,” with a key goalbeing the optimization of maritime transport of foodproducts. In this same year, a phytosanitary emer-gency was declared in Galapagos because of theintroduction of the fruit fly.The National Institute of Galapagos (INGALA), theEcuadorian Agency for Quality Assurance inAgriculture (AGROCALIDAD), and representatives ofthe commercial sector of the islands established a listof appropriate packing materials according to thecharacteristics of the product to be transported. Thislist was approved in December 2008 by theAgricultural Health Committee, the entity responsiblefor planning and ensuring compliance with healthand phytosanitary measures in Galapagos.This article documents problems associated withthe traditional maritime transport system, advancesin the implementation of the new system, andimprovements planned for the coming years.Traditional system of transportingcargo to GalapagosDuring the last 10 years the number of cargo shipsserving Galapagos has fluctuated between four andfive, with ships averaging between 30 and 40 yearsold. Ships deliver food products to the three principalislands in the archipelago: San Cristóbal, Santa Cruz,and Isabela. On average, each ship completes itsdelivery route (Guayaquil-Galapagos-Guayaquil) inthree weeks. The capacity of the ships ranges from300 to 1100 tons (Zapata, 2005). Food products (ani-mal and vegetable) represent 7% of the total mar-itime cargo. This low percentage has resulted in foodshortages and price speculation in local stores.The new plan addresses the many problems iden-tified in the current maritime transport system (Table2; Figures 1-4).20Traditional Transport System Problems Identified Potential SolutionsCargo is loaded on thecity of Guayaquil dock• Lack of port infrastructure forproper loading and quarantinecontrol• Physical damage to cargo espe-cially food products due to poorhandling• Implement the use ofcontainers and mechanizedloading techniquesPort facilities• An ideal location has not beenidentified in Guayaquil for theconstruction of an improved portfacility with quarantine facilities• The docks of Guayaquil andGalapagos do not have restrictedareas for personnel, climate-con-trolled storage areas, or cold stor-age for products arriving fromother regions• The docks of Galapagos aremade from reinforced concrete• Conduct design studies for portfacilities on the islands of SanCristóbal, Santa Cruz, and Isabela• Acquire a location in Guayaquilfor the construction of a portauthority for cargo and quaran-tine control• Construct port facilities on theislands of San Cristóbal, SantaCruz, Isabela, and the city ofGuayaquilTable 2. Problems and potential solutions associated with the current maritime transport system.
  16. 16. development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -201021Port facilitiesand do not have adequate spacefor proper port facilities, includingquarantine control for food prod-ucts that arrive in Galapagos• The docks in Galapagos do nothave mechanical cranes to opti-mize loading and unloading oper-ations (it is currently done bymanual labor)• The docks in Galapagos are usedfor multiple purposes (fishing,fueling, and local inter-islandtransport)Pest control and fumigation• Pest control/fumigation systemson docks, ships, or in cargo facili-ties do not exist• Procedures do not exist tocertify fumigation services orto verify compliance withfumigations controls• Initiate pest control andfumigation procedures andquarantine of food products,merchandise, docks, and shipsin the city of GuayaquilQuarantine measures• There are no approved quaran-tine procedures for cargo andfood products in Galapagos or inGuayaquil• Current quarantine measuresinclude random visual inspec-tions; 60% of the cargo enteringGalapagos via maritime transportis inspected in this manner• Develop a procedures manualfor each type of food andrestricted product• Inspect 95% of the foodproducts that are shippedfrom the city of GuayaquilShips without infrastructureto transport food products• The majority of ships do nothave storage holds that canensure proper refrigeration of per-ishable products• The walls of the holds are oxi-dized and in bad condition andcan contribute to the deteriora-tion of cargo—especially foodproducts• Ships regularly overload cargoholds• Shipping containers are not used• Implement the use of coldchambers• Update older ships in themaritime cargo fleet
  17. 17. development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -201022Traditional Transport System Problems Identified Potential SolutionsStorage onboard ships• Essential goods, food, non-organic cargo, and inflammablegoods, such as construction sup-plies, household supplies, andcooking gas, are stored in thesame locations within ships; spe-cialized holds do not exist for stor-ing different kinds of items, andcross contamination occurs• Food cargo and general cargoare loaded without any kind ofplanning or procedures• Train dock hands, portpersonnel, and maritimetransport personalUnloading in Galapagos• Unloading is done manually andin an unorganized fashion, result-ing in mishandling and damage tocargo especially food products• Food and perishable productsare damaged during stowagebecause of inadequate orinappropriate packing materials• The smaller boats and bargesused to transfer cargo fromanchored ships to the docks arenot regularly cleaned, disinfected,or fumigated• These boats are obsolete andare inadequate for transportingperishable food and generalmerchandise• Train the dock handlers in theislands• Renovate the barges used totransfer cargo especially foodand perishable items from theboats to the docks in the islandsCommercialization ofessential goods and food• Due to scarcity of food products,many inhabitants of the islandsare obliged to buy products inbad condition and possibly con-taminated with bacteria, parasites,toxins, etc., which could causegastrointestinal problemsespecially among young people• Train the commercial sectorin best practices in handling,storage, and commercialization
  18. 18. development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -201023Figure 1. Ship transporting cargo overcapacity and in unsanitary conditions.Figure 2. There is no evidence of applica-tion of physical methods to control pests onthe deck of the cargo ships.Figure 3. Storage of organic consumerproducts alongside sacks of cement in thehold of the ship.
  19. 19. development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010As a result of current handling practices and inade-quate infrastructure, food products—especially fruit,vegetables, legumes, grains, and meat and dairyproducts—often arrive in Galapagos in bad condi-tion. Between 2000 and 2008, 60% of the food prod-ucts that were confiscated were prohibited products(PP), 30% were restricted products (RP), 8% were inpoor condition (PC), and 2% were infested with pests(IP) (Table 3). The current system allows for the possi-ble introduction of pests, including insects, rodents,mammals, and reptiles, which could have negativeeffects on the unique ecosystems of Galapagos.Eradication and control of invasive species is expen-sive and not always possible. The cost associated withintroduced species affects everyone in Galapagos—especially farmers and the institutions in charge oferadicating and controlling introduced species in theGalapagos National Park.24Figure 4. Caraguay Dock in the city ofGuayaquil, where cargo ships destined forGalapagos are loaded. There are no mechanicalcranes, no areas for pest control, receipt/han-dling of cargo, or road access to protect foodcargo.Table 3. Units of food cargo confiscated in Guayaquil, Quito, and Galapagos between 2000 and 2008(PP=Prohibited Products; RP=Restricted Products; PC=Poor Condition; IP=Infested Products).Implementation of system to optimizethe transport of maritime cargoThe implementation plan includes the production ofa guide geared to suppliers, transportation compa-nies, and merchants that explains the use of appropri-ate packaging materials and techniques for differentkinds of food products (Figure 5). For example, theuse of plastic bins, appropriately sized cardboardboxes, and sacks for less delicate items makes cargomore uniform and optimizes the space in the holds ofships (Figure 6). It also facilitates phytosanitary con-trols and the loading and unloading of products. Theguides were handed out at events held by INGALAand other organizations in Galapagos and the infor-mation was also disseminated via local radio and tele-vision.
  20. 20. development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -201025Figure 6. Implementation of the measures outlined in the Packaging Guide, with packaging selected according to the type of produce.Figure 5 . Packaging guide for food products, designed to educate the commercial sector about selecting packing materials accordingto the characteristics of different products.Labeling cargo—especially food items—is essential.To assist in this, INGALA designed and distributed aguide of symbols used for the handling and storage ofcargo. Packaging of items destined for Galapagosshould include the following information: name ofthe consignee, island of destination, storage require-ments (for food products), and symbols that orienthandlers about how to handle the product. Beginningin 2010 colored tapes are used to identify the island ofdestination. This has helped to reduce confusion andeconomic losses.INGALA and AGROCALIDAD signed an agree-ment to design a campaign to certify Galapagos mer-chants selling food products, in order to facilitate thecollection of information by food quality inspectors.The campaign was carried out in August 2009, duringwhich time 264, 93, and 29 merchants were registeredon Santa Cruz, San Cristóbal, and Isabela, respectively.Merchants provided basic information about theirproducts (origin, destination, areas free of pests, list ofpests, etc.). This process also provided an opportunityto identify individuals with irregular immigration sta-tus who were involved in the commercialization ofbasic goods.INGALA will use the information obtainedthrough this process to create a phytosanitary moni-toring system to prevent the introduction of pestsand to provide up-to-date, relevant information toplanners and decision-makers.The implementation ofthis system involves educational activities for mer-chants, consumers, and inspectors on best practicesfor handling food items, food safety, and quarantine
  21. 21. Figure 7. Guide of best practices - developedto prevent physical, chemical, and microbiolog-ical contamination of food products through-out the transportation chain and in local stores.During three participatory meetings, representativesof the five maritime transport companies servingGalapagos and four representatives from the institu-tions responsible for pest control, quality of foodproducts, and maritime safety (Galapagos NationalPark, AGROCALIDAD, INGALA, and the Directorate ofInsular Water Areas) established requirements forships carrying food products to Galapagos. The mostimportant requirement is the separation of generalcargo from food products. The regulations stipulatethat fruits, vegetables, and legumes must be transport-ed in holds with cold storage capacity. Shellfish, fish,and processed meats must be kept frozen. Food prod-ucts that do not need to be refrigerated must betransported in sealed holds. General cargo and dan-gerous items must be kept in holds that are hermeti-cally separated from items for human consumption(Figure 8).Figure 8. Climate controlled storage containersonboard cargo ships help to preserve productsduring the three-day voyage from Guayaquil toGalapagos.Another requirement is that boats must be fumigatedbefore departing the mainland with cargo. SinceSeptember 2009, maritime authorities have prohibitedthe departure of three ships that did not comply withthis requirement. INGALA and AGROCALIDAD havedeveloped and disseminated a list of certified fumiga-tion companies that can be used by ships traveling toGalapagos (Table 4).26procedures. A guide has been designed on best prac-tices related to preventative sanitary practices toreduce the risk of contamination of food products andthe introduction of pests, which will help to guaran-tee the health of consumers and Galapagos ecosys-tems (Figure 7).development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  22. 22. Table 4. Fumigation companies certified by AGROCALIDAD.In 2008, the Government of Ecuador facilitated theentry of two new ships (Angelina I and Galapagos) tothe maritime transport fleet in order to ensure an ade-quate supply of food items for Galapagos (Figure 9).Both ships are equipped for proper transport oforganic materials.INGALA is working with the ProvincialGovernment, the Sub-secretary of Ports andTransportation, and the Consortium of GalapagosMunicipalities on the design of new port facilities forGalapagos, which will include piers equipped forloading and unloading and quarantine areas. INGALAprovided $50,000 to the local governments of SantaCruz and Isabela for studies and designs associatedwith new port facilities. In the case of San Cristóbal,INGALA will invest $50,000 to contract consultants tocarry out similar studies and designs. INGALA hasinvested $25,000 in a study to identify sites for dedi-27development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  23. 23. development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -201028Figure 9. New cargo ships for Galapagos, theAngelina I (top) and the Galapagos (bottom).According to the new shipping regulations, onlyvessels with proper loading equipment and coldstorage can enter the fleet.cated port and quarantine facilities on the mainland.Once a location has been identified, design serviceswill be contracted.During the first 20 months following the imple-mentation of the Plan, INGALA invested a total ofUS$128,730 and implemented 39% of the project.Theimplementation plan, to be completed in 2012, hasthree components: (i) optimization of cargo (quaran-tine controls, fumigations/pest control); (ii) optimiza-tion of ship infrastructure, and (iii) optimization ofport facilities.
  24. 24. development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -201029Taxis in Santa Cruz:Uncontrolled mobilization1University of Nantes, 2Charles Darwin FoundationIntroductionSince the 1980s, the lifestyle of the resident population of Galapagoshas changed rapidly, appearing more and more like the lifestyle ofcontinental Ecuador. This process of continentalization (Grenier,2007) has accelerated in the last decade and is characterized byincreased use of motorized terrestrial transportation. These changesare taking place primarily in Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz, the economiccenter of Galapagos and home to approximately two thirds of theinsular population (INEC, 2006). The increase in the use of motorizedvehicles – especially taxis – transforms both the inhabited space ofSanta Cruz and the relation of its inhabitants to their surroundings,which is referred to in this article as the “geographic milieu” of theinsular population. The objectives of this article are: (i) to betterunderstand the socioeconomic aspect of the taxi system; and (ii) toshow that the increasing use of taxis contributes to a transformationof the geographic milieu of Santa Cruz, creating challenges for deci-sion-makers who seek to maintain an insular lifestyle and to protectthe environment.MethodsStudy areaThis study was completed between February and April 2009 in SantaCruz. Santa Cruz was chosen because terrestrial transport is moredeveloped on the island, making it easier to observe the role of taxisin transforming living space and the geographic milieu.Photo: Emmanuel Cléder
  25. 25. 30Data collectionAt the time of this study, a complete census of vehiclesin Santa Cruz had not been completed (INGALA com-pleted one in 2009, which is reported in this volume).The only database available was the municipal vehicleregistry initiated in 1999. However, this source did notclearly indicate whether or not a vehicle was used as ataxi. Therefore it was necessary to cross-referencethese data with information obtained from the threetaxi cooperatives and two taxi companies on SantaCruz, each of which has documentation for the per-mits issued by the Provincial Council of Transit andTransportation (now the Provincial Commission ofTransportation, Transit, and Road Safety). However,knowing the number of taxis sensu strictu is not suffi-cient to explain how these vehicles and their use con-tribute to the organization and transformation of thelandscape and the relationship of the population withits environment.For this reason, the study observed the operationof taxis on the roads of Santa Cruz. Vehicles werecounted at seven representative locations in PuertoAyora. Circulating vehicles were counted every day ofthe week at the same times (7h-8h, 11h30-12h30,17h-18h). This process was conducted twice at eachlocation. Vehicles were classified by type: construc-tion machinery and cargo transport, taxi, private non-professional vehicle, bus and minibus, motorcycle,and institutional and private business vehicles. In thecase of taxis, it was also noted whether or not thevehicle carried passengers.To determine the relationship between the datacollected and the impacts of taxis, the study took intoaccount the organization and evolution of the physi-cal space of Santa Cruz (Sánchez, 2007). However, the119 surveys of taxi drivers and 63 of taxi owners pro-vided the best information regarding the space usedby taxis in Santa Cruz. The surveys provided a deeperunderstanding of the role of taxis in the evolution ofthe geographic milieu of Santa Cruz inhabitants, inpart because the relationship between society and itsenvironment includes a subjective dimension thatcannot be analyzed solely through traditional statisti-cal data. The surveys had the advantage of providinginsights based on perceptions, as well as qualitativeand quantitative data related to the financial dimen-sions of the taxi sector that are unavailable throughinformation provided by public institutions or taxicooperatives and companies. For example, only thosepeople directly involved in the sector could provideinformation on costs and benefits and the sharing ofcosts and income between taxi drivers and owners.ResultsThe total number of vehicles and taxis:unlimited growth?According to the vehicle census completed byINGALA in 2009, there were 1962 vehicles registeredin Galapagos, of which 1074 are located in Santa Cruz.In Santa Cruz, 205 of these vehicles were taxis (Oviedoet al., this volume). This number is lower thanINGALA’s 2006 estimate, which indicated “at least2051 vehicles in Galapagos” and 1276 vehicles inSanta Cruz (Villa, 2007; pp 74). However, even thecasual observer will note that the number of vehicleshas not declined. In fact, 93% of 120 inhabitants sur-veyed in 2008 indicated that traffic has increased inrecent years (Grenier, 2008).The current study is based on 260 taxis in SantaCruz, which is the number of taxis registered by SantaCruz taxi cooperatives and companies with theProvincial Commission of Transportation, Transit, andRoad Safety. The INGALA census of 2009 shows 55fewer taxis than the registry, highlighting a problemin data keeping, perhaps related to the sensitivenature of this topic.It is clear that taxis play an increasingly importantrole in the life of the population of Santa Cruz. In 1990there was only one taxi for every 350 inhabitants (15taxis in the island), while in 2006 (the last populationcensus) there was one taxi for every 50 inhabitants. In2008, it was estimated that 64% of the population ofSanta Cruz used taxis at least a few times each week(Grenier, 2008).The evolution of mobility in Santa Cruz is reflect-ed by the increase in the number of taxis as well as thenumber of vehicles in general (Figure 1), whichreveals a growing dependence on the use of motor-ized vehicles. The sale of fuel destined for terrestrialtransport is also a good indicator of this evolution.Using survey results and data from Petroecuador, it isestimated that each taxi consumes an average ofeight gallons per day, which translates into fuel con-sumption by the taxi fleet in Santa Cruz of approxi-mately 1800 gallons per day. This represents US$2500in average daily sales for Petroecuador or 55% of allfuel destined for terrestrial transport in Santa Cruz.development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  26. 26. Figure 1. The growth in the number of taxis is part of a general tendency of unsustainable growth in the total number of vehicles, theannual number of tourists, and the annual fuel consumption. Sources: Taxi cooperatives and companies, 2009; Municipal records ofSanta Cruz, 2008; Petroecuador, 2008; GNPS, 2008; Grenier, 2007.Figure 2. Traffic on Baltra Avenue at 5 PM, Puerto Ayora, February 2010. Photo: Emmanual Cléder.Pervasiveness of taxis in Santa CruzThe vehicle counts in this study show that taxis repre-sent 62% of the vehicles that circulate in Puerto Ayoraand almost 80% if we exclude two-wheeled vehicles(Figure 3; Map 1). The highest densities of taxis arefound on Baltra Avenue (Figure 2) and Charles DarwinAvenue, which are the areas of busiest economicactivity. The area near the dock, where the two princi-pal routes cross, forms the circulation hub of taxis inSanta Cruz. Traffic jams are most frequent at the footof Baltra Avenue. Significantly fewer taxis circulate inthe residential neighborhoods in the northern part ofthe city, although a large portion of the populationlives there.31development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  27. 27. Figure 3. Classification of vehicles in circulation in Puerto Ayora indicating the average number observed per hour by location. The letters(A-G) reference the sites where the counts were made – see map.Photo: Etienne Ouvrard32development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  28. 28. Map 1. Circulation of taxis in Puerto Ayora. Map design: Emmanuel Cléder33development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  29. 29. Figure 4. Number of taxis observed by hour and rate of occupation (%), by location. Note: data from the road to the CDRS and the GNPSare not included as few taxis use that route.The increase in motorized transport and circulation oftaxis is directly related to the expansion of the urbanzones of Puerto Ayora. The road between PuertoAyora and the Itabaca Channel, the backbone of ter-restrial transport in Santa Cruz, concentrates themajority of the circulating taxis (Map 2). However,most taxi fares occur between Puerto Ayora andBellavista, which has become a suburb of PuertoAyora, in part due to the growing number of taxis.Today many people live in the highlands and work inPuerto Ayora. The increased population living in thehighlands results in greater dependence on the use ofpersonal cars or motorcycles, taxis, and buses.Impacts of taxis on the geographicmilieu of Santa Cruz inhabitantsThe increase in circulation and use of taxis has measur-able environmental impacts in Santa Cruz, such as ani-mals, especially birds, struck by vehicles (Jiménez-Uzcátegui and Betancourt, 2008). The high fuel con-sumption by taxis (taxis average 240 km/day) results incarbon dioxide emissions of nearly 12 tons per day 1. Inaddition, the high fuel consumption creates anincreased demand for tanker ships to Galapagos,which in turn increases the risk of fuel spills.Additional impacts that are more difficult to measuremust also be considered, such as increased noise, thedegradation of island vistas, and increased stressamong inhabitants due to the danger generated bythe vehicular traffic.The geographic milieu of the inhabitants of SantaCruz has been even more impacted. The use of taxismakes everything closer. People become more andmore accustomed to using motorized vehicles, evenfor short distances--sometimes less than two blocks,according to taxi drivers surveyed. Urban spaceappears to become larger for a population that “nolonger wants to walk,”as many of the taxi drivers indi-cated. These attitudes reflect a significant evolution inlifestyle. As the population attempts to gain economicbenefit from the geographical opening of the island,1According to the website of Toyota, a taxi such as those that circulate in Santa Cruz emits an average of 220 g of CO2 per kilometer( observed densities of taxis do not truly reveal theuse of taxis by the population. Since there are nospecified taxi stands, taxis often circulate empty(Figure 4). A high degree of competition and no coor-dination of schedules among taxi drivers result inconstant circulation, whether carrying passengers ornot. The number of circulating unoccupied taxisvaries by location. Baltra Avenue and Charles DarwinAvenue in front of the Port Captaincy representextreme examples of inefficiency in the use of taxis inSanta Cruz, with almost two thirds of the vehicles cir-culating empty. The current method of searching forpassengers by constantly circulating Puerto Ayoracreates traffic jams, increased noise and air pollution,and greater danger for pedestrians and cyclists thanwould occur if taxis circulated only when carryingpassengers.development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  30. 30. Map 2. The circulation of taxis in Santa Cruz Island. Map design: Emmanuel Clédereverything becomes faster than before and more likecontinental Ecuador. One could hypothesize that anindividual does not have the same relation to his orher environment when they walk, ride a bicycle, or cir-culate in taxi (or in other motorized vehicles), and thattheir mode of transport will affect their perceptions oftheir environment and their views towards the con-servation of Galapagos. This theme must be investi-gated further (see Grenier, 2008).Why is the number of taxis in Santa Cruzincreasing so rapidly?The increase in taxis in Santa Cruz is driven by theincome generated by this sector (an average ofUS$380,000/month is generated by taxi fares in SantaCruz). To understand how this economic sector isorganized and why it attracts so many investors, it isnecessary to examine three categories of participants:(i) owners who lease their taxi to a driver; (ii) taxi driv-ers who own their vehicle; and (iii) taxi drivers who areemployees and do not own their own vehicle.Today in Santa Cruz, there are 204 owners of 260registered taxis; 84% own a single vehicle and 12%own two taxis, while seven owners have three or fourvehicles and the two major owners have six and eighttaxis, respectively (Santa Cruz Municipality, vehicleregistry, 2008). Of the 204 owners, about 43% drive35development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  31. 31. Figure 5. Monthly average economic situation (in US$) of each person involved in the taxi sector. Source: personal surveys - taxi drivers (n= 120) and owners (n = 60).For owners who contract a driver (117), the purchaseof a taxi represents a sound investment, generatingapproximately US$365 per month (net) for each taxi.This amount alone explains why so many people havepurchased taxis in recent years. The initial cost of pur-chasing a taxi and the time required to recuperate thiscost is the most significant barrier to investment. Ataxi costs an average of US$20,000 and it must beexchanged for a new taxi every five years according tothe law. If the taxi is resold for around US$5000, theinvestment represents a cost of US$250 per month.Taxi owners pay a fixed salary to contracted driv-ers, averaging US$370/month. However, the drivermust pay a daily amount back to the taxi owner(between $40-$50/day) to help cover maintenancecosts and various permits. This payment or “leasingfee”, which is not related to the fares collected, pro-vides the owner approximately US$1150/month. Theother expenses for the owner include cooperative orcompany dues (average of US$20/month), municipaltaxes (average of US$50/year), and maintenance(approximately US$140/month).Taxi owners who drive their own vehicles earnthe most (average of US$745/month; Figure 5), sincethey do not pay a driver’s salary; however they mustwork at the same intensity of other drivers.Owner/drivers must also pay for their fuel. This is themost important expense, averaging US$290/month.However this cost is subsidized by the Ecuadoriangovernment, and has been for more than 20 years. In36their own vehicle, while 57% contract one or moredrivers, depending on the number of vehicles theyown. In other words, of the 260 taxis in Santa Cruz,67% are driven by employees and 33% by their own-ers. Income levels vary significantly among thesegroups. (Figure 4).development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  32. 32. 21997: Segundo Suplemento, Official Register No. 55, Wednesday 30 April 1997.1998: Ley Orgánica de Régimen Especial para la Conservación y el Desarrollo Sustentable de le Provincia de Galápagos, approved bythe National Congress, Official Register No. 278, 18 March 1998.1999: Normas para la autorización y control del ingreso de vehículos motorizados y maquinaria al Archipiélago de Colón, approved bythe INGALA Council via Resolution No. 002-CI-IV-99.2005: Reglamento especial de control del ingreso de vehículos motorizados y maquinaria a la provincia de Galápagos, approved by theINGALA Council via Resolution No. 02-18-CI-2005, January 2005.2009: El reglamento substitutivo de control de ingreso de vehículos motorizados y maquinaria a la provincia de Galápagos, approvedby the INGALA Council via Resolution No. CI-11/ 12-II-2009.fact, the national fuel subsidy, plus an additional sub-sidy to cover the cost of transporting fuel to the archi-pelago, reduces the price of gasoline by approximate-ly US$1/gallon and the price of diesel by approximate-ly US$1.56/gallon (Jácome, 2007). In this sense, theEcuadorian government expends more than US$10per day for every taxi circulating in Santa Cruz.Finally, contracted taxi drivers earn aroundUS$380 per month. Although the average daily farescollected total around US$50, most of this is paid backto the owner. In general, fares are not sufficient tocover the cost of “leasing” the vehicle and buying thegasoline (the 119 taxi driver employees surveyed indi-cated that they pay for the gas). Although driver-employees earn only a bit more than the owner whodoesn’t have to do the driving, taxi driving is highlyattractive to young men from continental Ecuadorwho could not earn as much in their town of origin (ofthe taxi drivers who are not galapagueño, more than60% came to Galapagos for work). The surveys revealthat only 10% of taxi drivers were born in Galapagos,and that more than half of the immigrant taxi driversarrived in the archipelago after 2000.While taxis generate benefits, those benefits aredistributed unequally among owners, owner/drivers,and driver/employees. Taxis remain an attractiveinvestment to those with sufficient resources,because owners can find drivers willing to work for lit-tle money.Taxis in Santa Cruz – organized disorderWhile economic incentives explain the increase in thenumber of taxis in Santa Cruz, the traffic jams and dis-order created by taxis constantly circulating in PuertoAyora is better understood through the“organization”of this economic sector.To use a vehicle as a taxi, an owner must be amember of one of three taxi cooperatives or two taxicompanies of Santa Cruz and obtain a permit from theProvincial Commission of Transportation, Transit, andRoad Safety. Beyond this, each taxi owner managestheir business as they see fit, with limited controls orregulations (owners decide who to hire, how much topay, when to operate, etc.). In reality, the“taxi system”is a conglomeration of 204 independent businesses.Taxi cooperatives and companies are little more thanassociations of private interests. Members will defenda common objective only when personal interestsappear to be threatened, for example when themunicipality proposed to establish taxi stands toreduce traffic. The contractual relationship betweendriver/employees and the owners they work for mayexplain the competition among taxis for passengers(which translates into speeding and constant circula-tion), since drivers only begin to earn money afterthey cover the daily lease fees. Also, since the fare isindependent of the time required for a given trip, taxidrivers gain the most advantage when they delivertheir passengers as rapidly as possible.The lack of regulation can also help to explain thesense of competition that exists within the taxi sector.However, there are a number of laws that limit theimportation of vehicles, including new taxis. Five dif-ferent regulations2 have been established since 1997,when it was decreed that“importation of automobilesis authorized only for activities of conservation, agri-culture, and to renovate public and private transporta-tion.” The regulations of 1999 and 2005 establishedmoratoria on the importation of vehicles toGalapagos. Even so the number of vehicles and taxisin Santa Cruz continues to increase.The difficulty of regulating this sector wasdemonstrated when the project to establish taxistands, proposed by the municipality of Santa Cruz,failed. Taxis continue to circulate continuously search-ing for passengers, resulting in air and noise pollution,increased traffic, and even traffic jams on some streets.The situation is compounded by the lack of signage,which makes it dangerous to walk or to travel by bicy-cle in Santa Cruz, as demonstrated by recent accidentsinvolving taxis (see for example, the local newspaperEl Colono, April 2009 and May 2009).37development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  33. 33. Photo: Emmanuel Cléder38DiscussionIn just a few years, taxis in Santa Cruz have becomeomnipresent in the lives of the population. It hasbecome common to use a taxi to travel relativelyshort distances and the number of taxis continues toincrease.The high density of taxis in Santa Cruz can beexplained by the structure of the “taxi system.”Incentives in that system explain the competitionbetween taxi drivers, which results in a race for clientsand higher velocities.After months of study, surveys, and interviews,we asked ourselves if public authorities are capable ofregulating this sector, which appears to hold a greatdeal of power. Nevertheless, increased levels of traffic,noise, and danger to pedestrians and cyclists havedeteriorated the quality of life in Puerto Ayora, andthis must be reversed. With this in mind, we proposea series of recommendations:• Reduce the constant circulation of empty taxisby creating taxi stands in the principal areas ofuse and/or develop a radio system similar to thatof San Cristóbal.• Accompany these measures by rotations in workhours of the taxi drivers to better match supplyand demand, thus avoiding the excessive numberof taxis on the roads of Santa Cruz. This measurecould improve working conditions of the taxidrivers without reducing their income; if taxisonly circulate with passengers, the number oftaxis in circulation could be nearly halved withoutdecreasing the service to the population.• Develop other means of transport, includingbuses and minibuses, to reduce both emissionsand traffic. While a taxi usually has no more thanthree or four passengers (when they are notempty), a bus can transport up to 45.• Improve the conditions for bicyclists andpedestrians, by creating pedestrian walkwaysand sidewalks and extending the network ofbike lanes and paths, thus providing greaterincentive to use these modes of transport.ConclusionDecision-making requires political will and stronggrassroots support. As the principal means of trans-portation in Santa Cruz, the taxi fleet represents apublic service. At the same time, however, this sector istransforming the inhabited areas of the island. Thedevelopment communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  34. 34. extension of asphalt and the ever-increasing numberof vehicles is contributing to a lifestyle that is incompat-ible with the fragile Galapagos environment. Citizensshould be able to find a better balance between mobil-ity and protection of their quality of life. To do this,there must be greater transparency regarding the eco-nomic benefits of the taxi cooperatives and companies,and a commitment by these groups to improve theorganization of the sector. At the provincial level, therecently created Vehicles Committee must justify theimportation of every new taxi.It is disingenuous to present Galapagos as a “nat-ural paradise”if the current transportation situation inSanta Cruz continues. Sustainable, locally-basedtourism that is attractive to visitors who are tired oftraffic and noise in their cities of origin requires areduction in the number of taxis, the elimination ofcostly gasoline subsidies, and the development of atransportation system and culture that is betteradapted to the island environment.39development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  35. 35. development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -201040Photo: Jacintha Castora PhotographyTransporting passengersby launches in Galapagos1University of Nantes, 2Charles Darwin FoundationIntroductionInter-island movement of people within Galapagos has greatlyincreased in recent years, due to a doubling of the population,increased tourism, and the associated transformation of the insularlifestyle. Although the biological consequences of increased boat traf-fic within the archipelago has been studied (Roque-Albelo et al., 2008;Causton et al., 2008), little is known about the socioeconomic aspectsof maritime transportation. Our objective was to describe and evalu-ate current human movement among the populated islands of thearchipelago via a fleet of speedboats, locally called launches.This system of maritime transportation has evolved rapidly. Until2004, trips between islands were available weekly aboard two publicboats and a few launches (Zapata, 2005). Today, transportationoptions have increased significantly in number and quality, as theboats have been replaced by much faster launches.The analysis of thispopular means of transportation contributes to an understanding ofthe kind of development that is occurring in Galapagos and its conse-quences for the conservation of the archipelago. This article presentsthe results of a study completed between February and May of 2009as part of the Geographical Index Project carried out by the CharlesDarwin Foundation.MethodsTo better understand the organization of the fleet of inter-islandlaunches, 23 captains and/or owners of launches were asked tocomplete a questionnaire. Additionally, interviews were conductedwith the Port Captains of Santa Cruz, Isabela, and San Cristóbal, thecommander of the Second Naval Zone, and personnel of the
  36. 36. development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -201041National Institute of Galapagos (INGALA) and theInspection and Quarantine System for Galapagos(SICGAL). Finally, interviews were conducted with 166residents of Galapagos (77 in Santa Cruz, 49 in SanCristóbal, and 40 in Isabela) and 41 tourists to studytheir movements within the archipelago, their use oflaunches, and their opinions regarding this type oftransport. To complement these quantitative meth-ods, we also observed launch operations in the portsof the four inhabited islands and traveled in launches.ResultsOrganization of interisland transportAccording to the Ecuadorian Navy, 35 launchesoffered regular passenger transportation in Galapagosin May 2009, with seven additional launches makingsporadic trips. However, the Navy’s lists are not up todate; of 50 registered boats, 13 were listed as“inoper-ative”although they continue to function. Comparingthis information with observations we made in eachport, we estimate that the maximum number oflaunches providing inter-island transportation is 44(20 in Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz; 14 in PuertoBaquerizo Moreno, San Cristóbal; and 10 in PuertoVillamil, Isabela). There are three associations oflaunch owners, one in each of the main ports. Only20% of the owners operate their own vessels; the oth-ers employ a captain and crewman, who are general-ly paid daily for one round trip.There are various routes and types of inter-islandtransport. The most common type is the regularlyscheduled trips connecting the ports of the threeMap 1. Organization of the interisland transport of passengers among the inhabited islands.Sources: Questionnaires with captains (N = 23).
  37. 37. Table 1. Comparison in the perception of their trip by launch between tourists and residents.42county seats of Galapagos. Launches leave PuertoAyora every day in the early afternoon for PuertoBaquerizo Moreno and Puerto Villamil, and return toSanta Cruz the next morning (Map 1). This systemprovides daily connections, via Santa Cruz, betweenIsabela (where no national flights arrive) and Baltra,the principal airport in the archipelago.The second type of transport by launch consistsof charters contracted by residents, institutions, ortourism agencies or hotels for their clients. Thesetrips might be “port to port,” or might cover the fourinhabited islands with the passengers spending thenight on each island (Map 1).The type of transport and the frequency of tripsdiffer among the islands. Santa Cruz is the hub of thelaunch network. It is from this port that the majorityof passengers travel to both Isabela and SanCristóbal using regularly scheduled service. In termsof charters, Floreana is the most common destina-tion. The schedules and routes of the launch systemappear to be directly related to the infrastructure(airports) on each island and scheduled flights to thecontinent.Evolution of transportation by launchesAlthough transport by launch developed during thelast decade, it is nearly impossible to document itsevolution. The only register that we were able toobtain from the Port Captaincy of Puerto Ayora indi-cated that there were seven launches in Santa Cruz in2004 and today the number is 20 (two of which beganoperation during the months of this study).The fleet of launches is growing not only in termsof number but also the size of engines used. Todaylaunch engines average 450 horsepower. Boats areable to make the trip between the major ports of thearchipelago in approximately two hours, when only afew years ago it took at least five hours to travel fromPuerto Ayora to Puerto Villamil aboard Isabela’smunicipal boat, the Estrella del Mar. The length of thetrip may be shortened even more given that 40% oflaunch owners have indicated that they want toincrease the size of their engines. It should be notedthat during the last two years, 55% of the launchowners purchased more powerful engines.Launches have an average authorized capacity of20 passengers. They generally travel full when con-tracted as charters, but this is not always the case forthe regularly scheduled trips. For example, the 30launches in which we conducted head counts carriedan average of 15 passengers. However, of the fivelaunches we traveled on during the study, three trav-eled over capacity. The excess of passengers is due toa lack of coordination and last minute ticket sales.Since the Navy rarely monitors the launches and morepassengers result in more income, owners often donot respect the legal passenger limits. If Navy person-nel do observe a launch with too many passengers,the owner is supposed to pay a fine. In reality, finesare often not levied by the Navy (which provides per-mits to the launches) because of arrangements withboat owners, such as allowing Navy personnel to trav-el for free.UsersInterviewing tourists proved difficult. Many declinedto participate because they did not have time or weretoo tired from their trip. However, from those inter-viewed it was possible to determine that their percep-tions of this means of transportation are differentthan those who live in Galapagos (Table 1).The research was carried out in March-April whenthe seas are most calm. Transport by launch is consid-ered more comfortable by residents than by tourists.development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  38. 38. Photo: Etienne OuvrardTable 2. Type of transport preferentially used by residents.Tourists appear to expect certain comforts that resi-dents do not require. The opposite is true when ask-ing about safety. For some local residents the trips bysea seemed to be a kind of “test” – they were simplyhappy to arrive safely (28% of residents spontaneous-ly reported being seasick, compared to only 5% oftourists).Interviews reveal that residents appeared moreattentive to the marine environment while travelingon launches than tourists, who generally come toGalapagos to view wildlife. Some of the tourists inter-viewed explained that they were less concernedabout viewing wildlife aboard the launch becausethey had the opportunity to do so in the nationalpark. However, the Park’s last management plan high-lighted the fact that conservation problems can arisewhen the public thinks differently about areas dedi-cated to tourism, where certain activities are restrict-ed or prohibited, than they do about areas open forgeneral public use (such as the maritime routesbetween the inhabited islands), where there are fewrestrictions on human activity. According to thelaunch captains, in order to offer increased comfort,boats are becoming more and more enclosed, makingit more difficult to observe birds, marine mammals, oreven the surrounding ocean. In the absence of regu-lations, they are also continuing to increase the speedof their vessels to better compete with the smallplanes that transport passengers between islands(Table 2).43development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  39. 39. Galapagos residents tend to travel infrequently toother islands in the archipelago. However, inhabitantsof Isabela and Floreana must travel to either SantaCruz or San Cristóbal before continuing to the conti-nent (Map 2). Also, residents of Santa Cruz, Isabela,and Floreana must make occasional trips to PuertoBaquerizo Moreno, the capital of the archipelago, forvarious administrative matters. Even so, Puerto Ayorais the port most visited by residents of Galapagos.Figure 1. Number of islands visited by years of residency in Galapagos (above) and income (below).Source: Interviews of residents (N=166).44The number of islands visited by a Galapagos res-ident tends to increase with income and numbers ofyears living in the island (Figure 1). However, there arenotable exceptions: some residents interviewed havenever traveled to other islands of the archipelagoalthough they have lived in Galapagos for more than15 years.development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  40. 40. Map 2. Movement of residents among the inhabited islands of Galapagos.Source: Interviews with residents (N=166).Effectiveness of the quarantine systemLaunches carrying passengers and cargo among theislands create a potential network for dispersing inva-sive species--one of the greatest threats to the conser-vation of Galapagos. In the four inhabited ports of thearchipelago, the personnel of the Inspection andQuarantine System for Galapagos (SICGAL) inspectlaunches in an attempt to limit the spread of invasivespecies. Zapata (2007) showed that due to budgetreductions that resulted in a decrease in the numberof inspectors, SICGAL has been unable to effectivelyreduce the entrance of introduced species toGalapagos. This situation continues to worsen as thenumber of passenger and cargo trips increases.Residents and tourists traveling on launches wereasked about the effectiveness of the quarantine sys-tem (Table 3). Approximately two thirds of residentsresponded that SICGAL was effective at achieving itsgoal of avoiding the introduction of invasive species.Tourists believed that the partial inspection of theirbags was insufficient. While 25% of tourists reportedthat their luggage had not been examined, only 13%of residents did.It is common to observe launches departing portwithout having been inspected by SICGAL. Inspectorsworking in SICGAL are aware of this situation andexplain that it is due to a lack of personnel. Anotherfactor is that with the exception of Puerto Ayora, SIC-GAL offices are located away from the docks, making it45development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  41. 41. Table 3. Effectiveness of the quarantine system (SICGAL) according to passengers on launches.Table 4. Indicators to measure the evolution in the impacts generated by launches inGalapagos.46more difficult for personnel to observe the movementof boats, cargo, and passengers.DiscussionCurrently inter-island transport using launches isunregulated, except for limited Navy and SICGALsupervision. There are serious safety issues associatedwith launch transport in Galapagos: insufficient lifevests, boats traveling at excess capacity and excessivespeeds that are dangerous in rough seas, the absenceof a life raft onboard, etc. The frequency of incidents(one of the authors was stranded aboard a launch thathad run out of fuel) points to the dangers inherent inthis form of transportation. The Navy, the NationalPark Service, the municipalities, and INGALA are allentities that could play a role in ensuring the safety oflaunch passengers. Will it be necessary for a seriousaccident to occur before implementing oversight andbasic safety measures?One could argue that the demand to connectGalapagos with the mainland, rather than internalactivity within the islands, drives the growth andorganization of this form of transportation. Launchschedules are based on flight schedules to and fromthe continent. For example, it is impossible to leaveIsabela on a launch later than 7 AM (the time it is nec-essary to leave Isabela for a flight to the mainland).Puerto Ayora serves as a hub for launch transportation,and is the source of the largest number of boats andpassengers. And although Puerto Baquerizo Morenoplays an important role in this system, the launch own-ers of Villamil obtain greater benefit by using theirlaunches for charters and tourism activities.Additional studies of other marine transporta-tion to Galapagos (cargo ships, etc.) are needed tocomplement this analysis and to provide a broaderunderstanding of the threats to the national park(such as invasive species) and the lifestyle of theinsular population.ConclusionsA number of indicators from this study provide abaseline to understand future trends and the impactof launches on Galapagos. These indicators havebeen integrated into the Geographic Index ofGalapagos Project of the Charles Darwin Foundation.development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  42. 42. Photo: Emmanuel CléderGalapagos institutions should actively regulate thisform of transportation and review its organizationand operation. Safety issues must be dealt with assoon as possible, including:• Insufficient number of life vests,• Overloaded launches, and• High speeds that could result in boats sinkingin high seas.In addition to fuel consumption and associated airand water pollution, launches pose other potentialdirect impacts for insular ecosystems, such as thetransportation of uninspected cargo that could con-tain invasive species, collisions with sea turtles, etc.,and indirect impacts, such as changes in the relation-ship of Galapagos residents to the natural world inwhich they live.Finally, re-instituting a municipal transportationsystem between the inhabited islands could offer anattractive alternative for tourists (allowing betterobservation of marine species, vistas, etc.) and pro-vide Galapagos residents with a low-cost option tothe launches. A municipal maritime transportationsystem could also help to reduce pollution, increasemarine safety, and generally reduce the impacts thatlaunches have on the geographic space and environ-ment of Galapagos. A public system for inter-islandtransport could also generate additional income forthe government, which could in turn be invested inthe conservation of the Galapagos National Park.47development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  43. 43. development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010The first complete motorizedvehicle census in Galapagos1National Institute of Galapagos2Provincial Commission for Terrestrial Transportation, Transit,and Road SafetyIntroductionThe Galapagos Islands are one of the most complex and uniqueoceanic archipelagos in the world, considered a natural laboratoryof evolution with worldwide importance for science, education, andnature tourism. The increase in the human population and econom-ic activities has provoked an increase in the size of the vehicularfleet, which is affecting the local population and the environmentand biodiversity of Galapagos.The Special Law for Galapagos of 1998 (LOREG) established thatthe entry of vehicles into Galapagos must be regulated and con-trolled. Since then, there have been many efforts on the part of theNational Institute of Galapagos (INGALA) to meet this requirement.In 2005 a pilot census of vehicles on Isabela identified a total of 117vehicles and analyzed the socioeconomic and environmentalimpacts related to the increase in vehicles. In June 2008, INGALA car-ried out a study of the environmental impact of the vehicular fleet inthe three most populated islands (San Cristóbal, Santa Cruz, andIsabela) to ensure adequate regulation.Based on the recommendations of the 2008 study, a census ofterrestrial vehicles was carried out in February-March 2009 for theentire province. This study provided updated data on the numberand characteristics of vehicles and provided information needed todevelop a database for better control.48Photo: Jacintha Castora Photography
  44. 44. development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -201049Regulation of vehicles in GalapagosBetween 2005 and March of 2009, the entry of vehi-cles into Galapagos was governed by a regulationapproved by the INGALA Council in May 20051. Thisregulation established a five-year moratorium on thenumber of permits in the public service cooperatives,as well as a moratorium on the creation of new terres-trial transportation cooperatives. This initial regula-tion was replaced in March 20092.The 2009 regulationestablished that the entry of motorized vehicles andmachines into Galapagos was further restricted andpromoted the use of vehicles that use alternativeenergy or hybrids.These decisions complemented theGovernment of Ecuador’s vision for the elimination ofthe use of fossil fuels in Galapagos.Vehicle census of 2009A vehicle census was carried out between Februaryand March 2009 in all of the populated islands: SanCristóbal, Santa Cruz, Isabela, Floreana, and Baltra.Information was recorded on the technical charac-teristics of each vehicle, the reason for entry of thevehicle, the owner’s name, and if it was owned by anindividual or business. All of the data associated withthis study can be found in a database accessible viathe website of the Governing Council of Galapagos(Consejo de Gobierno de Galápagos). The informa-tion related to the rationale for entry of the vehicleswill be particularly important for anticipating futuredemand for vehicles generated by the business sec-tors of the province.Between February and March 2009, the censusidentified a total of 1962 terrestrial vehicles in the fivepopulated islands (Figure 1; Table 1). The studyshowed that the largest number of vehicles is onSanta Cruz (1074), followed by San Cristóbal (699),Isabela (154), Baltra (24), and Floreana (11).Figure 1. Number of vehicles in the inhabited islands of the Galapagos Province in February-March 2009.1 Special Regulation for the Control of the Entry of Motorized Vehicles and Machinery in the Province of Galapagos; resolutionNo. CI-18-I-2005 published in the Official Register No. 09 of 3 May 2005.2 Substitute Regulation for the Control of the Entry of Motorized Vehicles and Machinery in the Province of Galapagos; resolutionNo. CI-11/12-II-2009, published in the Official Register No. 555 of 24 March 2009.
  45. 45. Table 1. Number of vehicles in Galapagos by type and sector, 2009.** Classifications used were those established by the Organic Law for Terrestrial Transportation, Transit, and Road Safety.Table 2. Vehicles registered in San Cristóbal in 2009.** Classifications used were those established by the Organic Law for Terrestrial Transportation, Transit, and Road Safety.Most vehicles were designated for personal use(1144), followed by commercially owned (610), forpersonal use in business (181), and for public trans-port (27) (Table 1). The most common types of vehi-cles were motorcycles and scooters (935), followedby pick-up trucks (644) and trucks (88). There werealso 315 taxis and 187 institutional vehicles.A total of 699 terrestrial vehicles were censusedin San Cristobal (Table 3). Most public transportvehicles are taxis (110). Of the 438 vehicles identi-fied for personal use, 380 are motorcycles. Theremaining 151 vehicles are used for a variety of eco-nomic activities, such as agriculture, fishing, cargotransport, construction, and artisan activities.50development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  46. 46. Table 3. Vehicles registered in Santa Cruz in 2009.*In Isabela 154 vehicles were censused (Table 4). Nearlyhalf of them were pick-up trucks (68), of which 23were used for cargo transport, 11 by the tourism sec-tor, 10 by the agricultural sector, 9 by institutions, 9 forpersonal use, and the remainder by fisheries andother.Table 4. Vehicles registered in Isabela in 2009.** Classifications used were those established by the Organic Law for Terrestrial Transportation, Transit, and Road Safety.* Classifications used were those established by the Organic Law for Terrestrial Transportation, Transit, and Road Safety.In Santa Cruz, 1074 terrestrial vehicles were censused(Table 3). The majority (627) were categorized for per-sonal use. Of these vehicles, 470 were motorcycles.There were 351 pick-up trucks, most of which pertainto the taxi sector (204).51development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  47. 47. development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010Eleven vehicles were censused in Floreana, sevenbelonging to individuals and four to institutions(Table 5).Twenty-four vehicles were censused in Baltra: twelveinstitutional, nine private, and three for cargo trans-port (Table 6). Of those belonging to individuals, sixwere large, 45-passenger buses for passengers andtourists.52Table 5. Vehicles registered in Floreana in 2009.*Table 6. Vehicles registered in Baltra in 2009.** Classifications used were those established by the Organic Law for Terrestrial Transportation, Transit, and Road Safety.* Classifications used were those established by the Organic Law for Terrestrial Transportation, Transit, and Road Safety.
  48. 48. development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -201053ConclusionsThe vehicle census of 2009 indicates that between1999 and 2004, a period when no structured regula-tions to control the entry of vehicles to Galapagosexisted, there was a considerable increase in the num-ber of vehicles in the archipelago. From 2005 forward,with the new regulations in place, there was a reduc-tion in the entry of new vehicles, particularly pick-uptrucks used for taxis (public transport), due to the five-year moratorium on permits for new taxis and newterrestrial transport cooperatives.The 2005 regulation allowed for the unrestrictedentry of motorcycles for personal use and resulted ina considerable increase in the number of motorcyclesup to March 2009, when the regulation was modified.The new regulation required justification for import-ing a motorcycle based on its proposed use. If the jus-tification was approved, based on technical and legalreports, it was turned over to the Vehicle Committeefor consideration.The principal economic activity of the populationis tourism. However, the census does not reflect anincrease in the number of vehicles used in this sector.This is probably due in large part to the fact that themajority of tourists remain onboard tourist boats andthose who stay in the towns overnight generally usetaxis. Even so, it could be argued that the increase inthe number of vehicles is directly related to popula-tion growth and increasing tourism.Recommendations• A system for controlling the entry of vehiclesinto Galapagos is in place and functioning. Thereis ongoing coordination between INGALA (nowpart of the Governing Council of Galapagos) andthe Provincial Commission for TerrestrialTransportation, Transit, and Road Safety. It isimportant that this coordination is maintainedand that the two institutions play their respectiveroles in keeping vehicle registration and controlup to date.• The software program for the vehicle databaseshould be continually updated and improved toallow more information to be captured and toensure easy access for end users.• The use of vehicles using alternative energyshould be encouraged, to replace those that usefossil fuels. Incentives should be established tomake such vehicles accessible.• It is important to continue the process of vehiclecontrol; a study of the supply and demand ofvehicles circulating in Galapagos is planned.
  49. 49. Photo Title Page Marine Management Section: Celso Montalvo
  50. 50. development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -201057Identification of rearing areas forblacktip sharks Carcharhinus limbatusin the mangrove stands of coastalSan Cristóbal IslandGalapagos National ParkSharks fill a vital ecological role within marine ecosystems as a toppredator (Stevens et al., 2000). They help eliminate dead and weakanimals from the water, impeding the spread of disease and strength-ening the genetic structure of populations (Galván et al., 1989).The current status of shark populations in the Galapagos MarineReserve (GMR) is unknown. However, they are under strong pressurefrom illegal fishing in spite of the prohibition of shark fishing (Reyesand Murillo, 2007). In Galapagos sharks are a symbol of the marinebiodiversity and at least five shark species (reef whitetip sharkTriaenodon obesus, whale shark Rhincodon typus, hammerhead sharkSphyrna lewini, Galapagos shark Carcharhinus galapagensis, and thesilky shark Carcharhinus falciformis) represent an important tourismresource in the GMR, especially for dive trips (Reyes and Morillo,2007). Knowledge of shark biology and ecology in the coastal zonesis critical for effective management and conservation.This study examines the different species of juvenile shark thatuse certain coastal zones of San Cristóbal Island for rearing. Thesedata will help to establish a baseline for these areas and to promotesimilar studies in the rest of the archipelago to improve manage-ment in all coastal areas of the GMR.Shark rearing areasGravid females of many shark species travel to specific rearingareas to give birth to their young or deposit eggs on the sea floor.Photo: Elizabeth Knight
  51. 51. Study areasThis study was completed in five mangrove areas inthe coastal zone of San Cristóbal: Tortuga, Cerro Brujo(the mangrove area), Puerto Grande, Manglecito, andBahía Rosa Blanca (Figure 2). At all sites, sharks werefished using gill nets, locally known as “trasmallo lis-ero” and generally used in Galapagos for fishing mul-lets. The number of neonate and one-year-old sharkscaptured was recorded.development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010The young spend the first part of their lives wherethey are born, making these areas critically impor-tant to shark populations (Springer, 1967; Castro,1993). Rearing areas can be relatively closed or opento the sea, but are usually located in the shallow, high-ly-productive coastal zones, where the newborn canfind abundant food and protection from larger sharks(Simpfendorfer and Milward, 1993; Bonfil, 1997;Carlson, 1999). These areas can be identified throughobservations of gravid females, neonates, and young-of-the-year (Bonfil, 1997). This study focused on eval-uating five sites in San Cristóbal to determine if theyare rearing areas for sharks.Critical habitats for the protectionof sharksShark populations can be limited by the number ofrearing areas with adequate habitat (Springer, 1967).Knowing the location of the rearing areas is importantto ensure adequate protection for these species andto evaluate possible human impacts in these areas(Skomal, 2007).A variety of factors, such as increased fishingeffort, inadequate fishing regulations, and the degra-dation of important rearing areas in coastal habitats,estuaries, and fresh water, has resulted in a decline inshark populations in various regions of the world(Camhi et al., 1998). Ecosystems such as mangrovesare both ecologically and biologically important,given that they stabilize coasts, protect the inland ter-rain, and provide habitat for many bioaquatic species(Reserva Nacional de Investigación Estuarina Bahía deJogos, online). These ecosystems have high biodiver-sity with very high primary productivity, maintaininga complex trophic network that includes nestingareas for birds, and feeding, rearing, and protectivezones for reptiles, fish, crustaceans, and mollusks(MacNae, 1968).Management and conservation of critical habi-tats for reproduction and rearing in the waters off SanCristóbal through fishing closures and/or the estab-lishment of protected zones is vital to ongoing repro-ductive processes (Anislado and Robinson, 2001).These sites have similar habitat characteristics and aresurrounded by mangroves (Figure 1a), primarily thered mangrove (Rhizophora mangle). The roots of themangroves provide a refuge from predators for juve-nile sharks and young of other fish species (Figure 1b).58Figure 1. (a) Aerial view of the Tortuga study area surrounded by red mangrove (Rhizophora mangle); (b) Juvenile fish among the rootsof the mangroves.
  52. 52. development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -201059Figure 2. The Galapagos Islands with details of San Cristóbal Island and the five coastal study areas: Tortuga, Cerro Brujo (mangrovearea), Puerto Grande, Manglecito and Bahía Rosa Blanca.MethodsFrom May to December 2008, direct observationswere made via snorkeling to detect and count sharksin the five study areas. In January, February, and Aprilof 2009, six additional field trips were conducted tocapture juvenile sharks using a gill net with 3-inchholes measuring 100 m x 3.5 m.The net was located atthe entrance of each study area during one hour.The captured sharks were immediately freedfrom the net and brought onboard where weight,measurements (total length, furcal length, and stan-dard length), sex, and species were recorded. Thestate of the umbilical scar was also noted as eitheropen or partially closed, to determine the shark’sstage of development (Figure 3).Figure 3. (a) Blacktip shark with an open umbilical scar (neonate); (b) Blacktip shark with a partially closed umbilical scar (young-of-the-year).
  53. 53. Table 1. Number of the three species of shark observed and captured in each study area in San Cristóbal.In terms of neonates and one-year-olds, the speciesmost often caught was the blacktip shark, which wasobserved in three of the study areas (Table 2). InJanuary, the number of neonates was greater thanthe number of one-year-olds in both Puerto Grandeand Manglecito, but not at Tortuga. In February, onthe other hand, the number was nearly the sameand they were present in Puerto Grande, Manglecito,and also Tortuga. In April, there were no neonatescaught in any of the study areas, while the most one-year-olds were captured in Puerto Grande.Table 2. Number of blacktip shark neonates and young-of-the-year captured atthree of the study areas between January and April 2009.60ResultsNineteen blacktip sharks were observed at Tortugaand Bahía Rosa Blanca and 23 reef whitetip sharks(both juveniles and adults) were spotted in the man-grove areas of Manglecito, Bahía Rosa Blanca, andCerro Brujo (Table 1). Using the gill net, 52 neonatesand one-year-old juvenile blacktip sharks were cap-tured at Tortuga, Puerto Grande, and Manglecito; oneneonate hammerhead shark was caught in PuertoGrande. This indicates that this fishing method ismore efficient for studying these two species, espe-cially the blacktip shark.development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  54. 54. Figure 5. Blacktip shark neonate of 65 cm total length (TL), captured at Tortuga, showing in the circle the umbilical cord, indicating thatit was born a few days before.Other fauna in the five study areasThe number and species of fish observed using bothmethods confirm that the five mangrove areas pos-sess a high abundance and diversity of species typi-cally found in coastal bays (Allen et al., 1995; Groveand Lavenberg, 1997; Humann and Deloach, 2003;Molina et al., 2005), such as black-tailed mullet(Xenomugil thoburni), yellowfin mojarra (Gerrescinereus), golden-eye grunt (Haemulon scudderii), andblackspot porgy (Archosargus pourtalesii). The majori-ty of these species remain in these areas during theirjuvenile stage.Species of rays and fish were observed in all fivestudy areas, with the greatest diversity of species atTortuga and Manglecito, followed by Bahía RosaBlanca, Puerto Grande, and finally Cerro Brujo (Table 3).Conclusions and recommendationsThe mangrove areas of Tortuga, Puerto Grande, andManglecito of San Cristóbal are rearing areas forblacktip shark, with 98% of captured sharks beingblacktip neonates and young-of-the-year.The remain-ing 2% were hammerhead sharks. Gill nets were moreeffective for collecting data on recently born sharksthan direct observation.It is evident that juvenile blacktip sharks prefermangrove areas. The lack of observations of adultsharks suggests that they do not frequent these zones.Additional studies are needed throughout theyear to determine other characteristics of the popula-tion dynamics of blacktip sharks and other species,including movement patterns and growth rates. It isalso necessary to determine if juvenile sharks useother types of habitats in the coastal zone of the GMR.The results suggest that blacktip sharks probably givebirth in the first months of the year. For example, atTortuga in February, young with a total length (TL) of65 cm and a portion of their umbilical cord attachedwere captured (Figure 5), indicating that they hadbeen born only a few days earlier. More frequent sam-pling is needed throughout the year to confirm thisfinding.61development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  55. 55. The gill net was effective for capturing both neonateand juvenile sharks that live in mangrove areas.The fivestudy areas are all designated as fishing zones withinthe GMR zoning system and are regularly used by fish-ermen. This suggests that a continued incidence ofcapture of juvenile sharks and other protected species(i.e., rays) in nets may be occurring (Figure 6).Based on the results of this research, we recom-mend that additional studies be carried out in SanCristóbal and other islands to determine the fishingmethods and regulations that will help to protectshark rearing areas. The gill net used in this studyresulted in a high incidence of capture of neonateand juvenile sharks. Its use by fishermen over thelong-term could cause unintentional deteriorationof these ecosystems. We recommend the reevalua-tion of the current zoning of important rearing areasand the establishment of protected zones in man-grove stands. The creation of protected zones forshark rearing would improve the management ofthese habitats, and also protect and conserve juvenilesharks and other species.62development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010Table 3. Diversity of accompanying wildlife species in the five study areas of San Cristóbal, by presence/absence.
  56. 56. Figure 6. Eagle ray (Aetobatus narinari) captured incidentally in the gill net in Manglecito.63development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010
  57. 57. development communityflorafaunaGALAPAGOS REPORT 2009 -2010Hammerhead sharksof Galapagos: their behavior andmigratory patterns1Charles Darwin Foundation, 2University of California – Davis,3Galapagos National ParkHammerhead sharks (Sphyrna lewini) are unique among sharks inmany ways, most notably in the shape of their head. Their gregariousbehavior has always fascinated people, so much so that manytourists spend large amounts of money to travel around the world toobserve them. In the Galapagos Islands, hammerhead sharks, alongwith whale sharks (Rhincodon typus), Galapagos sharks (Carcharhinusgalapagensis), and reef whitetip sharks (Triaenodon obesus), consti-tute an important attraction for dive tourism (Espinoza and Figueroa,2001), generating substantial income for the local economy. This isdue to the fact that the archipelago remains one of the few locationsin the world where these animals can still be seen in large groups(Figure 1). This article presents a review of a series of studies carriedout under a hammerhead shark tagging and monitoring program inthe Galapagos Marine Reserve (GMR) .1Hammerhead sharks are at risk primarily due to overfishing.Strong economic pressure for the commercialization of shark finsworldwide has provoked an increase in the capture of sharks andtheir fins along the entire western coast of South America (WildAid,2005). An estimated 1.7 million tons of sharks are captured world-wide annually (Clarke et al., 2006). In the GMR, sharks are protectedby law (AIM, Resolution No.011-2000), but unfortunately illegal641The complete analysis of telemetry data of the hammerhead shark will be presented in the doctoral thesis of James Ketchum and inscientific publications currently being prepared by the research team.Figura 1. Impressive marine vista dominat-ed by a group of hammerhead sharksPhoto: Alex Hearn