Marine wildlife conservation in Galapagos

Dr. Cardenas Diaz delivering talk in front of room filled with students and facultyOn October 24, 2019, the ASU Center for Biodiversity Outcomes partnered with the School of Life Sciences to host a Hugh Hanson Seminar by Professor Susana Cárdenas Díaz from the Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Ecuador. Cárdenas Díaz directs the university’s Institute of Applied Ecology and is a professor in the College of Biology and Environmental Sciences. During the presentation, which was attended by 25 people, Cárdenas Díaz discussed preference data from a survey of tourists in the Galapagos National Park and its Marine Reserve. Their research investigated tourists’ willingness to pay for the recovery of two marine endangered species—the hammerhead shark and green sea turtle—through visitor fees and donations. Their results suggest that tourists have a positive willingness to pay for improvements in the recovery of the two endangered species. “Right now many species are endangered, but if marine protection increases in the Galapagos region we can reduce threats to many species,” explained Cárdenas Díaz. These results are relevant to alternative funding mechanisms being considered for the Eastern Tropical Pacific Marine Corridor (or CMAR, its Spanish acronym), a governmental initiative to create and promote the conservation of the archipelagos in Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia and Ecuador. Watch this presentation.