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David Anchundia is an ornithologist for the Galapagos Landbird Conservation Program at the Charles Darwin Foundation. Initially, he worked in the Galapagos supporting research on sea lions and fur seals. David received his Master of Science working with the blue-footed booby, incorporating GPS tagging, bird counts on coastlines, and feeding ecology. Currently, his research focuses on the iconic Darwin’s finches and flycatchers in Galapagos. The Landbird Conservation Program aims to provide basic information about population sizes of birds across Galapagos and to gain scientific information on poorly documented species like the Vermilion flycatcher. David’s research aids in efforts to save Galapagos birds from an invasive parasitic fly.

Invasive Parasitic Fly Threatens Future of Unique Galapagos Land Birds

The Galapagos Islands are famous for their spectacular species of birds. They first came to the attention of the world after Charles Darwin first collected specimens on the archipelago in 1835, helping him later by providing clues to develop the theory of evolution. The islands’ birds have captivated the imaginations and inspiration of explorers, sailors, scientists, and tourists ever since. These iconic animals are one of the main reasons many thousands of visitors come to these islands each year. But having evolved into their Galapagos niches over countless generations, the birds of Galapagos are facing a deadly enemy, an invasive insect that preys on chicks in their nests.