Biodiversity and Conservation

, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 437–445 | Cite as

Feral donkey (Equus asinus) eradications in the Galápagos

  • Victor Carrion
  • C. Josh Donlan
  • Karl Campbell
  • Christian Lavoie
  • Felipe Cruz


Introduced herbivores are major drivers of ecosystem change and biodiversity loss, particularly on islands. Tools and techniques now exist to routinely remove introduced herbivores from islands, providing a powerful conservation tool. Here, we summarize the few documented feral donkey removals on islands worldwide, and report on the removal of populations from the Galápagos archipelago, Ecuador. After decades of sporadic control programs on Santiago Island and Alcedo Volcano, Isabela Island, donkey populations were removed from both areas, concurrent with a goat eradication program. Both ground and aerial hunting programs were utilized. The latter method was highly efficient; donkeys were removed from Santiago Island with less than 80 h of aerial hunting. Given the clear impacts of introduced herbivores on islands worldwide, feral donkey populations should be routinely removed from islands.


Burro Introduced species Isabela Island Non-native species Restoration Santiago Island 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Victor Carrion
    • 1
  • C. Josh Donlan
    • 2
    • 3
  • Karl Campbell
    • 1
    • 4
    • 5
  • Christian Lavoie
    • 1
    • 4
    • 6
  • Felipe Cruz
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.Galápagos National Park ServiceIsla Santa CruzEcuador
  2. 2.Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Corson HallCornell UniversityIthacaUSA
  3. 3.Island Conservation, Center for Ocean HealthSanta CruzUSA
  4. 4.Charles Darwin FoundationQuitoEcuador
  5. 5.Natural and Rural Systems Management, Gatton CollegeUniversity of QueenslandGattonAustralia
  6. 6.United Nations Development ProgramQuitoEcuador

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