Over the last ten years, populations or subspecies of several endemic passerine species on the inhabited islands of Galapagos have become extinct or are in decline. The reasons are not completely understood, though multiple potential threats are present (parasitism, introduced mammals, habitat loss, use of pesticides); the most imminent threat being an invasive fly, Philornis downsi, acting as a nest parasite.
During the next two years, research will be carried out to understand
the factors that are causing the decline of Galapagos land birds and
develop management actions that can help reverse this decline. The
development of an archipelago-wide monitoring system for small land
birds is the highest priority. The person contracted for this position
will carry out priority research and activities identified in the Land
Bird Conservation Plan and will be supervised by the coordinator of the
Plan. These activities will involve field work, literature reviews,
data management and analysis, working with students and local
institutions, and collaborating with scientists with long-standing
programs in Galapagos and additional expert collaborators who will be
identified during the implementation of this project, as well as park
rangers, and the Galapagos community.