We have a lot of work in progress and changes happening. We will update the website soon. Thank you for your support!

Dr. Larry Richman – Rest in Peace


Our dear friend, colleague and beloved board member Dr. Larry Richman passed away unexpectedly earlier this month. Our hearts are heavy as we remember the kindness, generosity, humor and wit Dr. Larry brought with him to every situation.

Danielle and I both met Dr. Larry on separate volunteer trips to the Galapagos Islands where he was fondly referred to as the “King of Spays” because he spayed and neutered so many dogs and cats in the Galapagos Islands, other places in Ecuador, Samoa, Dominican Republic and across Maryland where he lived and practiced.

Dr. Larry was instrumental is getting Galapagos Preservation Society off the ground. Not only was Dr. Larry a founding board member he was also our first and most generous donor to the organization. We are indebted to Dr. Larry for many rescues of strays and fences built for otherwise loose dogs in Galapagos.

He was a remarkable veterinarian, a movie buff who could quote all the classics at a drop of a hat, a world-traveler and a fabulous storyteller. Most of all Dr. Larry was one of the kindest men we will have the privilege of knowing and calling a friend. We will miss Larry dearly.

– Allison

Donate to GPS, just by shopping on Amazon!

Some of our supporters recently asked us to join the Amazon Smile program so they could donate to us just by shopping on Amazon. Well, I just set it up and its ready to go! Thank you for bringing it to our attention.

Its very easy. First, just visit Amazon through the special program link at Smile.Amazon.com

Then enter our name “Galapagos Preservation Society” into the search box on the lower right of the page.

Press “select” after you find us.

Begin shopping!

The shopping experience on Amazon Smile will be identical to the regular Amazon site – same prices, same selection – with the exception that eligible products will be marked as such. Nearly every physical product is eligible, the exceptions are mainly for electronic items like Kindle E-books.

Amazon will donate 0.5% of your purchase totals to GPS. Please shop through Smile.Amazon.com and make your purchases count toward money for conserving the Galapagos!


Welcome our New Board Member: Jono More


We are thrilled to welcome conservation biologist Jono More to our Board of Directors. Jono was born and raised in New Zealand. Below is a bit more about his prior work in Galapagos:

In 2012, Jono had the privilege of being able to spend 5 months in the Galapagos Islands working for the Charles Darwin Foundation, often in conjunction with the Galapagos National Park Service.Jono was lucky enough get to spend time on a number of islands and work on various species including land iguanas on Fernandina, mockingbirds on islets off Floreana, albatross on Espanola and mangrove finches on Isabela.The biggest project which Jono was involved with was the Galapagos hawk mitigation during the rat eradication on Isla Pinzon.  Here he had to help locate and catch hawks so that they could be kept in captivity in order to prevent them from getting secondary poisoning from eating poisoned rats.These experiences have meant that the Galapagos Islands are now very close to Jono’s heart and he has a strong desire to return and help with the many issues of which the Galapagos’ ecosystem faces.New Zealand and the Galapagos both share similar dilemmas in regards to mammalian invaders and therefore Jono believes that his knowledge and experience can be put to good use in helping to save the unique wildlife of the “enchanted islands”.

More from the Founder

IMG_0756David Rand at The Sign Company here in Friday Harbor, made all of our signs for this campaign. One is posted on the new fence we made for Hugo and another is for the first bat house on the Galapagos Islands!

Tortuga, our rescue kitten was living in piles of wood at one of the local lumber yards on Santa Cruz. She is one of sweetest and friendliest kittens we have ever met. If she had survived the traffic on the busy corner, she would have probably had several litters of kittens. Although they would have been very cute, more cats and dogs is the last thing the islands need! She and her kittens would have devoured more than a few lava lizards and finches.

Now Tortuga rests safely with a full belly of kitty food in Friday Harbor Washington with Gabe, Melina and Sadie.


News from the Founder’s Desk

IMG_0288Our trips are always too short. What we need to do is plant ourselves in Galapagos for a good 3 months at a time. We could then make some real progress. When funding comes through we will do just that

We built a fence for Bruno Moreira Garcia, A sweet gent of a dog. He had been held by a very short rope for 8 years…now he walks and runs in his yard. He is free, but not free to roam the beaches in search of iguanas.
Our bat house project went up without too much stress. Our friend Hernan Rodas is the IMG_0736 proud recipient of the first ever bat house in Galapagos. The two bats that have been found are Hoary and Western Red. From the research that I did I found that they have been found in lava tunnels and though thought to be loners have been found roosting with other species. So we are giving it a try. A total experiment. Tony with Bat Bunker donated one beautiful bat house. A work of art, his homes are
I want to thank my dear friend Paco…without him our trip would have been much harder. It takes some finessing to get things done on the islands, especially since I don’t speak spanish and believe me, Paco is the man!
I contacted The Red Mangrove and talked to a woman by the name of Naomi West. I told her about GPS and she was sold. She pitched our organization to the owner Hernan Rodas and he too, was sold…he gave us our stay! A huge relief on our pocketbooks. We worked from sun up to sun down and came back to a beautiful room with a wonderful breakfast to get us going in the morning. We can’t thank you enough Hernan and Naomi. Their staff was so so helpful. Fernanda helped us locate the perfect location for our bat house.
More to come later this week! 

Galapagos Campaign, May 2013

Hello All!

We just returned from a whirlwind week on Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos, Ecuador. As always, we did a lot of work but we also managed to have a little fun as well. We build a fence for a chained dog, dropped off donated supplies to Darwin Animal Doctors, rescued a kitten for rehoming and built the first ever bat house in Galapagos! Here is a preview below and this week I’ll go into more details about each project.

Scouting out bat house location

Scouting out bat house location

Bruno waiting for his fence

Bruno waiting for his fence

Donations to DAD

Donations to DAD

Putting up bat house

Putting up bat house

Galapagos, Here We Come!

photo: BowBelle51

Three of us are headed to Santa Cruz Island in late April for our spring 2013 campaign. We have been in the process of some changes at home and are thrilled to be on our way back to the Islands. We will spend about a week there, building fences for chained and stray dogs, looking for candidates for a cattery, as well as catching some feral cats for re-homing.

We are extremely grateful to the Red Mangrove Inn for providing us with a free room while we are on Santa Cruz for the duration of our trip. Its very generous and will help us greatly in keeping costs down. The Red Mangrove is involved in many efforts to improve community on the Islands, including veterinary assistance to horses. Read more about their efforts here. We are honored that they have chosen to help more animals of Galapagos by helping GPS.

Giant tortoise ‘extinct’ for 150 years found on remote Galapagos island

by Jennifer Viegas

A species of giant tortoise believed extinct for 150 years was actually just moved from its original home and now lives on the volcanic slopes of the northern shore of Isabela Island in the Galapagos archipelago.

A genetic analysis, published in the latest Current Biology, found that DNA footprints of the long lost tortoise species, Chelonoidis elephantopus, exist in the genomes of its hybrid offspring. These tortoises turn out to be a mix of C. elephantopus and another giant tortoise from the area, C. becki.

While researchers have yet to isolate a purebred C. elephantopus individual, such tortoises must exist, based on the DNA data. The study marks the first time that a species has been rediscovered by way of tracking the genetic footprints left in the genomes of its hybrid offspring.

more here: 


Make Your Year-end Gift to Wildlife in Galapagos

This year has been a busy and productive one for GPS.  In the spring, I led a successful two-week campaign in Galapagos where I advanced our mission of protecting wildlife and preserving island ecosystems while promoting animal welfare.

I traveled to Santa Cruz Island where a small team of volunteers and I constructed a fence for two sweet, large-breed dogs, Pepa and Jan.  After we finished the fence, we released Pepa and Jan from their tethers.  It was touching to see the dogs slowly explore the entire yard and realize they could run from one end to the other.  The remainder of our materials went to reinforcing fences for a few other dogs in Santa Cruz, so they too could be freed from chains but confined to a yard where they are protected from cars and wildlife is protected from them.

I also conducted several meetings, both on the islands and the mainland of Ecuador. I am pleased to report that GPS has developed a relationship with the Galapagos Minister of Culture, Maria Eugenia Proano.  Maria Eugenia Proano is one of the founding members of CIMEI (Inter-institutional Committee for Management and Control Introduced Species).  She cares a great deal about the future of the islands and is working with us to produce humane education and conservation outreach materials for children and adults on Santa Cruz Island.

I established a relationship with Metropolitan Touring, the largest tour-operator in Galapagos to educate their employees on the impacts dogs and cats have on the indigenous wildlife and struck a deal with American Airlines for discount pricing to fly GPS animals from Ecuador back to the United States.

Finally, while on Santa Cruz, friend and supporter of GPS, Sarah Darling found a dog tied to some weeds at the edge of town.  It was obvious the dog was suffering from malnutrition, a severe case of mange and a large bloody wound on her back. Sarah and I untied her and brought her to a clinic to be treated.  The little dog flew with me to the mainland where GPS board member Dr. Diego Barrera cared for her until she was healthy enough to fly to the United States.  Founder of GPS, Allison Lance picked her up and Ruby stayed with Allison until she was adopted.  Ruby now lives happily in Vancouver, Canada.

GPS also had our first long-term volunteer on the islands this past summer. Karstan Lovorn, a lawyer, carpenter and long-time activist arrived in July for his three-month position on Santa Cruz Island.  Karstan worked with Maria Eugenia on humane education materials and scripts for public service announcements to be aired on the local television station about the importance of spay and neuter. He also assisted our sister organization Darwin Animal Doctors with clinic duties, including helping them move to a new clinic space and hand building five-sets of bunk beds for volunteers to sleep on.  Finally, Karstan managed a high-volume spay and neuter campaign that served both Santa Cruz and San Cristobal Islands.

We were only able to do this work through your generosity and support.

Although we are making progress in the Galapagos, we still have numerous concerns.  Native wildlife continues to be under assault by invasive animals.  It remains legal for people to breed and sell dogs and cats on the islands. While I was there, I saw many signs advertising purebred puppies for sale. Sterilization of dogs and cats is not mandatory or even encouraged. With your help we can outlaw commercial dog breeding and mandate sterilization of pets.

GPS is starting the year out strong. We are heading back to the Galapagos in January with a small team of veterinarians to conduct a sterilization campaign on Santa Cruz Island.  I will also build fences for chained and free-roaming dogs and conduct humane outreach in the local community.

We are actively searching for long-term veterinarian volunteers who will focus solely on much-needed dog and cat sterilization.  We are also reaching out to veterinary clinics around the country to secure volunteers for short high-volume spay/neuter campaigns and medical supply donations. Finally, we are developing relationships with volunteers in Galapagos to find a way to stop smuggling and breeding of purebred dogs.

To achieve our goals in 2012, we need your continued support. Help us start the year financially secure by giving GPS a generous tax-deductible, year-end gift. 

The Galapagos Islands, one of the most diverse and intact ecosystems in the world remains in peril. We depend on your support to continue to do our on-the-ground work in the islands.  Without your help we simply won’t have the resources we need to sterilize the thousands of cats and dogs on the island and prevent them from overtaking the native ecosystem, build fences for chained and free-roaming dogs and educate the public on the importance and fragility of the Galapagos Islands, the place that they call home.

Thank you for your support of GPS’s vital work in the Galapagos last year and your continued support in 2012. To make a tax-deductible year-end gift to GPS, you can do so securely here.

– Galapagos Preservation Society