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Keywords:

  • coral;
  • endemism;
  • fishes;
  • macroalgae;
  • marine protected area;
  • MPA;
  • systematic conservation planning

Abstract

  • 1.
    The Galapagos Marine Reserve provides refuge for numerous threatened marine species, including 16 mammals, birds, reptiles and fish currently recognized on the 2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, plus an additional 25 endemic fish, mollusc, crustacean, echinoderm, coral and macroalgal species that comply with threatened species criteria because of declining extent of occurrence or highly-localized ranges, and hence also qualify for inclusion on the Red List.
  • 2.
    Threatened marine species with restricted ranges are not randomly distributed across the archipelago but tend to co-occur at a limited number of sites that are predominantly located in the west. Sites at which threatened species are known to persist, particularly those with a large proportion of the global population, are here identified as sites of global conservation significance — key biodiversity areas.
  • 3.
    The majority (27) of the 38 inshore key biodiversity areas identified are currently protected from fishing because they lie within the 17% of coastal waters that is zoned as ‘no-take’ tourism or conservation zones. All key biodiversity areas should be protected from extractive exploitation if threatened species are to be safeguarded. This can be achieved, at the minimum, through a relatively minor amendment to the existing marine zoning scheme, whereby an additional 2% of the coastline is dedicated to conservation.

Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.