Six New Darwin’s Flycatcher Nestlings in Galapagos National Park

Six New Darwin's Flycatcher Nestlings in Galapagos National Park
Photo by Galapagos National Park showing a vermilion flycatcher (Pyrocephalus nanus) on the island of Santa Cruz in the archipelago, October 17, 2019 PARQUE NACIONAL GALÁPAGOS / AF

Six nestlings of an endemic species with splendid colors but in danger of extinction, the Darwin vermilion flycatcher (Pyrocephalus nanus), also known as the “witch bird”, have been born in an area of only forty breeding pairs, announced the Galapagos Islands National Park.

The small passers-by were born in the upper part of Santa Cruz, one of the three main islands of the Ecuadorian archipelago, the natural heritage of humanity that inspired the theory of evolution to the British naturalist Charles Darwin.

“In terms of conservation, this means for the sorcerer’s bird that the population structure of this hope increases by six new individuals in its territory and its living areas,” explains the director of the Park, Danny Rueda, in a video released Tuesday by the organization.

“The sorcerer’s bird is a species that is in danger of extinction because of the small number of individuals on its territory,” he adds, pointing out that the Park has a program to increase its number.

Thus, the Park strives to eliminate from its living areas plant species introduced to the archipelago, such as mulberry, which hinders the access of chicks to their food. It also places larvicide in selected locations at the base of nests to prevent the proliferation of a parasitic fly (Philornis downsi) fatal to the nestlings.

The sorcerer’s bird has been considered an endemic species of the Galapagos since 2016 and is found on several islands in the archipelago.

The Galapagos, located 1,000 km from the Ecuadorian coast, owe their name to the giant turtles that inhabit them. With its unique flora and fauna, the islands are listed by Unesco as a World Heritage Site and are part of the World Biosphere Reserve.