Tuesday 21 May
Galapagos miconia (Miconia robinsoniana)
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Galapagos miconia fact file
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Galapagos miconia description
Although it is now vastly depleted, the Galapagos miconia still lends its name to a unique vegetation zone on two of the major islands in the Galapagos (2) (3) (4) (5). It is an attractive shrub that has large, leathery leaves with conspicuous veins forming a striking pattern on the upper surface (2) (6). The purple flowers are arranged in branched clusters up to 18 centimetres long, while the fruit is a dark purplish berry (6).
- Also known as
- Height: 2 - 5 m (2)
- A species or taxonomic group that is only found in one particular country or geographic area.
- UNEP-WCMC Species Database (June, 2009)
- McMullen, C.K. (1999) Flowering Plants of the Galapagos. Cornell University Press, New York.
- Wiggins, I.L. and Porter, D.M. (1971) Flora of the Galapagos Islands. Stanford University Press, Stanford.
- Kricher, J.C. (2006) Galapagos: A Natural History. Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey.
- Jackson, M.H. (2001) Galapagos: A Natural History. University of Calgary Press, Calgary.
- Stephenson, M. (2000) The Galapagos Islands: The Essential Handbook for Exploring, Enjoying & Understanding Darwin's Enchanted Islands. The Mountaineers Books, Washington.
- Charles Darwin Foundation. (2006) Charles Darwin Research Station Fact Sheet: The scourge of red quinine. Charles Darwin Foundation for the Galapagos Islands (AISBL), Galapagos, Ecuador. Available at:
- Galapagos Conservation Trust (June, 2009)
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Galapagos miconia biology
There is no available information on the biology of the Galapagos miconia.Top
Galapagos miconia rangeTop
Galapagos miconia habitatTop
Galapagos miconia status
This species has not yet been assessed by the IUCN.Top
Galapagos miconia threats
Owing to burning, grazing by introduced animals, and most significantly, competition with introduced plants, the dense stands of Galapagos miconia that form the Miconia zone are no longer nearly as extensive as they once were (2). The chief culprit on Santa Cruz is the quinine tree (Cinchona pubescens), introduced from tropical South America in 1946 (2) (7). Quinine has invaded large stands of the Galapagos miconia to produce a non-native closed canopy forest, and has the potential to eventually wipe out the entire zone (2) (6) (7) (8).Top
Galapagos miconia conservation
The main priority for the conservation of the Miconia zone and its dominant species, the Galapagos miconia, is the eradication of quinine from Santa Cruz. Although scientists from the Charles Darwin Research Station are confident this could be achieved, it has been estimated that the total eradication of this highly invasive species would cost 6 to 8 million dollars, over 10 to 15 years. Although both expensive and labour intensive, the eradication of quinine from the highlands of Santa Cruz is seen as essential to the conservation of the native flora and fauna (7).Top
Find out more
For further information on the conservation of the endemic flora of the Galapagos see:Top
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