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Galapagos Islands removed from threat list

July 30, 2010 at 11:40 AM

BRASILIA, Brazil, July 30 (UPI) -- The government of Ecuador is to thank for conservation efforts that resulted in the removal of the Galapagos Islands from a sensitive list, U.N. agencies said.

The U.N. World Heritage committee at a meeting in the Brazilian capital announced that it was removing the Galapagos Islands from a list of World Heritage sites considered endangered by the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

The committee hailed efforts by the Ecuadorian government to curb overfishing and combat threats from invasive species as contributing to the delisting, UNESCO announced.

Specifically, the committee said, Ecuadorian efforts to prevent foreign plant and animal species from reaching the islands by using specially trained dogs lead to ecological sustainability.

The 19 islands that make up the Galapagos chain were listed as a World Heritage site in 1978 and put on the endangered list in 2007.

The isolated islands are home to unique animal species like the land iguana and the giant tortoise.

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