Overview

Distribution

Range Description

Sargassum galapagense is an endemic species from the Galápagos Islands. Prior to 1983, reported from:
Isabela: Bahia Banks (Taylor 1945) and Caleta Tagus (Taylor 1945). Fernandina: Punta Espinosa (Wellington 1975) and Cabo Douglas (Wellington 1975). Floreana: Champion (Wellington 1974). San Cristóbal. Santa Cruz: Tortuga Bay (1974 CDS).

After 1983, reported from: Fernandina: Punta Espinosa (CDS record 2001), Cabo Douglas and southern coast of Fernandina (CDRS record 2003). Isabela: Cabo Berkely (1987 CDS), Punta Moreno (CDRS record 2001), Castles and Bahia de los Perros (CDRS record 2001). Floreana: Champion (2003 CDS). Santa Cruz: Punta Nuñez (CDRS record 2002) and Laguna de los Flamingos (1995 CDS).
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
S. galapagense occurs from the low intertidal to shallow subtidal (K.A. Miller and L. Garske pers comms.).

Systems
  • Marine
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
DD
Data Deficient

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2007

Assessor/s
Miller, K.A., Garske, L. & Edgar, G.

Reviewer/s
Stuart, S.N. & Carpenter, K.E. (Global Marine Species Assessment Coordinating Team)

Contributor/s

Justification
Currently present mostly in the western part of the archipelago but appears to have been more widespread prior to the 1982-83 El Niño. At present, there is insufficient information on distribution and population trends to adequately assess its status; hence, this species is listed as Data Deficient.
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Population

Population
According to Edgar and Garske (unpublished manuscript), populations of this species have declined from a band-forming species prior to 1982 to a few individuals sighted amongst other Sargassum plants in the western region in 2004. However, abundance records are anecdotal and there is insufficient information to assess population trends in these species over the past three generations.

Population Trend
Unknown
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Threats

Major Threats
Presumably El Niño and climate change. Ecosystem interactions involving these two factors appear to have caused widespread decline in algal populations because of an increase in density of grazing sea urchins and other herbivores, following overexploitation of predators along with ENSO disturbances.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
S. galapagense is present within the Galápagos Marine Reserve (IUCN category VI); Galápagos Archipelago Particularly Sensitive Sea Area (PSSA); Galápagos Island World Heritage Site (UNESCO N (i)(ii)(iii)(iv)), and Galápagos Island Man and Biosphere Reserve (UNESCO).
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