The Galápagos Islands, located in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Ecuador, are one of the world’s biodiversity hotspots, but deforestation, loss of plants and animals, and invasive species have taken a toll on the region. Fortunately, a new conservation initiative spearheaded by Leonardo DiCaprio and other conservationists is helping to restore the island to its natural beauty.
The $43 million conservation project is a collaboration between Re:wild, the Galápagos National Park Directorate, Island Conservation, and local conservationists. A focal point of the project is the rewilding of Floreana Island, which is home to a total of 54 threatened species. The group will reintroduce 13 species once native to the island and launch a pink iguana breeding program to bolster populations.
Over the next decade, the project aims to restore a total of 25 islands throughout the Galápagos, as well as surrounding waters, and protect 250 globally threatened species from extinction. The initiative will also put stricter tourism control measures in place and augment local economies with conservation projects.