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María Lorena Romero-Martínez is a Master in Natural Science and a Junior Research Assistant for the Galapagos Verde 2050 project, based at the Charles Darwin Research Station in Santa Cruz, Galapagos.

New technologies allow rare endemic cactus to be restored to the Galapagos

At the southern end of the Galapagos archipelago lies Española, with 60 km2 of volcanic rock, sandy shores and spectacular marine and terrestrial biodiversity.

As one of the oldest islands in the Archipelago, Española has been the scene of successful conservation efforts for several iconic species such as the Española giant tortoise, rescued from the brink of extinction, and the ongoing work with the waved albatross, with its only breeding ground on the coasts of the island.

More recently, Española once again became a natural laboratory where an ambitious project initiated the plant propagation of another Española endemic species, Opuntia megasperma var. orientalis, commonly known as the Española cactus.