14 Oct Preventing tree extinctions in the Juan Fernandez Archipelago
Preventing the extinction of threatened endemic tree species in the biodiverse Juan Fernandez Archipelago and improving their conservation status
Partners: Island Conservation and Oikonos
This project will permanently eradicate a significant number of non‐native seed and seedling predators from Alexander Selkirk Island in the Juan Frenandez archipelago. The project will also advance the conservation of the threatened cloud forests of Robinson Crusoe Island and its endemic tree species through multiple complementary activities such as the facilitation of natural forest regeneration through weed management and exclusion of herbivores. The capacity of local communities will also be improved to sustain these conservation actions on the long term.
The Juan Fernandez Archipelago has an extreme concentration of endemic trees. The majority of the archipelago is a National Park and the largest single threat to biodiversity and livelihoods is invasive species. Today, 17 IUCN threatened tree species (6 CR, 11 VU) occur in the archipelago and urgent action is needed. This project will prevent the extinction and improve the conservation status of these globally threatened archipelago‐endemic trees. Building on more than a decade of work that has established the technical, regulatory and social enabling conditions, the project will renovate and expand the nursery and plant more than 3,000 seedlings of threatened trees and protect key tree conservation sites from invasive herbivores and weeds. It will permanently eradicate from the archipelago a significant number of non‐native seed and seedling predators and build capacity in community hunters to reduce feral goat numbers by 90% and maintain numbers low while providing alternative livelihoods and food autonomy. Community engagement activities will see community members involved in invasive species management efforts, tree planting activities and receiving door‐to‐door deliveries of a magazine with articles on local tree conservation. Significant capacity will be built in partners to be able to continue tree conservation, reforestation and other conservation efforts in the future.