Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 19 April 2014

Galapagos 'no longer endangered'

Tortoises on the Galapagos Islands

The Galapagos Islands have been removed from the Unesco list of sites endangered by environmental threats or overuse.

The island chain, about 620 miles off Ecuador's coast, is home to unique animal species that inspired Charles Darwin's ideas on evolution.

In 2007, the United Nations body included the World Heritage site on its endangered list because of damage from tourism, immigration and invasive species.

A Unesco committee meeting in Brazil on Wednesday said strong action by Ecuador's government to fight these problems means the Galapagos Islands are now safer.

Being on the danger list "allows Unesco to allocate immediate assistance from the World Heritage Fund to the endangered property," Unesco's website said.

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