GSC and GNPD to collaborate on new wildlife on veterinary program in the Galapagos

The Galapagos Science Center (GSC) and the Galapagos National Park (GNPD) will be collaborating to create an operative and sustainable program of wildlife veterinary and management.

As a first step towards this partnership, the GSC and the TUERI Veterinary Hospital of Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ) recently collaborated on a workshop titled “Primary veterinary care and management of sea lions” in San Cristobal, Galapagos. The objective of this workshop was to create and strengthen the capacities around primary emergency care of sea lions and share best practices of captive and rehabilitation management of sea lions to those in Galapagos whose main duties are to rescue, contain, and manage wildlife.

Eduardo Díaz and Carolina Sáenz from TUERI during the workshop organized for Galapagos National Park staff and other local institutions.

Many stakeholders were in attendance, including park rangers from the Galapagos National Park, members of the Environmental Protection Unit (UPMA) of the National Police, and GSC staff. The workshop, led by veterinarians Eduardo Díaz and Carolina Sáenz from TUERI, provided background related to the primary veterinary care of sea lions and included a visit to the Galapagos National Park rehabilitation center to better understand technical criteria to manage sea lions in captivity. 

“It has been an enriching experience to be able to contribute to the different institutions that work for the conservation and well-being of these incredible animals. Let it be the beginning of many projects. When several people come together for the same ideal, the results are incalculable,” said Carolina Sáenz. 

The organization of these workshops will enhance the protection of the Galapagos sea lions, an endemic species classified by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as endangered and arguably one of the most charismatic animals on the islands. 

“Thanks to the GSC, Galapagos National Park, and UPMA for their participation in the first workshop on primary care and management of sea lions, hopefully, a new starting point for the conservation of Galapagos wildlife,” concluded Eduardo Díaz. 

Together, the GSC and the Galapagos National Park hope to continue developing the wildlife rehabilitation facilities and programming to help not only sea lions, but many other species in Galapagos for years to come.


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In 2022, the Galapagos Science Center (GSC) and the broader UNC & USFQ Galapagos Initiative will celebrate its 10th Anniversary. We are proud to announce the World Summit on Island Sustainability scheduled to be held on June 26–30, 2022 at the Galapagos Science Center and the Community Convention Center on San Cristobal Island.

The content of the World Summit will be distributed globally through social media and results documented through papers published in a book written as part of the Galapagos Book Series by Springer Nature and edited by Steve Walsh (UNC) & Carlos Mena (USFQ) as well as Jill Stewart (UNC) and Juan Pablo Muñoz (GSC/USC). The book will be inclusive and accessible by the broader island community including scientists, managers, residents, tourists, and government and non-government organizations.

While the most obvious goal of organizing the World Summit on Island Sustainability is to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the GSC and the UNC-USFQ Galapagos Initiative, other goals will be addressed through special opportunities created as part of our operational planning of the World Summit.

For instance, we seek to elevate and highlight the Galapagos in the island conservation discourse, seeking to interact with other island networks in more obvious and conspicuous ways to benefit the Galapagos Islands, the UNC-USFQ Galapagos Initiative, and the world. We will seize the opportunity to further develop the I2N2 – International Islands Network-of-Networks. Further, we wish to highlight and emphasize multiple visions of a sustainable future for the Galapagos Islands and we cannot do this alone. Therefore, engaging the Ecuadorian Ministry of Environment, the Ministry of Tourism, the Government Council of Galapagos, the Galapagos National Park, and local Galapagos authorities, including government and non-government organizations and local citizen groups, is imperative.

The Galapagos Science Center on San Cristobal Island, Galapagos

Borrowing from Hawaii’s and Guam’s Green Growth Program and the Global Island Partnership, we wish to examine existing global programs that emphasize island sustainability and their incorporation into life, policies, and circumstances in the Galapagos Islands. We will also seek to enhance our connections with the institutional members of our International Galapagos Science Consortium and expand the Consortium through the recruitment of other member institutions. We will also work to benefit islands and their local communities by working with citizen groups as well as important NGOs who seek to improve the natural conditions in the Galapagos and diminish the impact of the human dimension on the future of Galapagos’ ecosystems.

Lastly, we will use the World Summit to benefit UNC & USFQ and our constituencies through a strong and vibrant communication plan about the World Summit, creating corporate relationships as sponsors, identifying funding goals through donors, and benefiting our study abroad program for student engagement in the Galapagos Islands. We plan to develop and issue a Galapagos Sustainability Communique after the World Summit that includes the vision and insights of all its participants for a sustainable Galapagos with applicability to global island settings.

We are eager to hear your perspective and have you join us at the World Summit on Island Sustainability!