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Marine invasive species

Marine invasive species: Establishing pathways, their presence and potential threats in the Galapagos Marine Reserve

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  • Inti Keith (Lead / Corresponding author)
  • Terence P. Dawson
  • Ken J. Collins
  • Marnie L. Campbell

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)377-385
Number of pages9
JournalPacific Conservation Biology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 17 Aug 2016


Worldwide, marine biological invasions of non-native species have increased significantly in recent years due to a rapid rise in global trade, transport and tourism. Invasions occur when non-native species are transported from one region to another and establish, often resulting in competition displacing native species and changing ecosystems. Historic literature searches were conducted along with dive surveys of the main ports and in sites around the archipelago in order to produce a baseline of which non-native species are present in the Galapagos Marine Reserve at this time. Confounding processes of anthropogenic and natural activities are increasing the potential spread of marine invasive species in the Eastern Tropical Pacific and the Galapagos Marine Reserve. We discuss the potential vectors facilitating marine invasions with the suggestion that marine traffic could be the most influential vector in the transport of marine non-natives to the Galapagos Marine Reserve. The challenge for marine park authorities is to identify those species that are likely to cause negative impacts on native biodiversity and ecosystems before they establish in the Galapagos, and to develop pre-emptive strategies that would likely include prevention as well as risk-based management strategies to remove them or to mitigate their harmful effects.

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