Pacific Conservation Biology Pacific Conservation Biology Society
A journal dedicated to conservation and wildlife management in the Pacific region.
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Marine invasive species: establishing pathways, their presence and potential threats in the Galapagos Marine Reserve

Inti Keith A B E , Terence P. Dawson A , Ken J. Collins C and Marnie L. Campbell D
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Centre for Environmental Change and Human Resilience, University of Dundee, Dundee, DD1 4HN, UK.

B Charles Darwin Foundation, Marine Science Department, Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos, Ecuador.

C Ocean and Earth Science, University of Southampton, National Oceanography Centre, Southampton SO14 3ZH, UK.

D Environmental Research Institute, University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand.

E Corresponding author. Email: inti.keith@fcdarwin.org.ec

Pacific Conservation Biology 22(4) 377-385 https://doi.org/10.1071/PC15020
Submitted: 25 June 2015  Accepted: 10 June 2016   Published: 17 August 2016

Abstract

Worldwide, marine biological invasions of non-native species have increased significantly in recent years due to a rapid rise in global trade, transport and tourism. Invasions occur when non-native species are transported from one region to another and establish, often resulting in competition displacing native species and changing ecosystems. Historic literature searches were conducted along with dive surveys of the main ports and in sites around the archipelago in order to produce a baseline of which non-native species are present in the Galapagos Marine Reserve at this time. Confounding processes of anthropogenic and natural activities are increasing the potential spread of marine invasive species in the Eastern Tropical Pacific and the Galapagos Marine Reserve. We discuss the potential vectors facilitating marine invasions with the suggestion that marine traffic could be the most influential vector in the transport of marine non-natives to the Galapagos Marine Reserve. The challenge for marine park authorities is to identify those species that are likely to cause negative impacts on native biodiversity and ecosystems before they establish in the Galapagos, and to develop pre-emptive strategies that would likely include prevention as well as risk-based management strategies to remove them or to mitigate their harmful effects.

Additional keywords: bioinvasions, GMR, non-native.


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