Thirteen World Heritage Sites stay on Danger List

Thirteen natural World Heritage Sites, including the Galapagos Islands, will stay on the List of World Heritage in Danger, following the advice of IUCN.

A Sally lightfoot crab on Bartolome Island, Galapagos, Ecuador

The decision of the World Heritage Committee to retain the Galapagos Islands on the the danger list comes two years after they were recognised as being under severe threat because of growing tourism, invasive species and immigration.

"The decision to retain Galapagos on the List of World Heritage in Danger shows the clear commitment of the government of Ecuador to continue with its conservation efforts and work together with the international community, to maintain the outstanding universal value of this unique place on Earth" says Pedro Rosabal, Senior Programme Officer of IUCN.

“Ecuador has a history of working in line with the World Heritage Convention, which led to the removal of Sangay National Park from the danger list. IUCN considers this as “best practice”of using the danger list as a mechanism for enhancing the conservation and management of endangered sites. IUCN, through its Regional Office for South America, will further support the efforts of Ecuador towards the removal of the Galapagos Islands from the Danger List."

The Galapagos Islands of Ecuador and the Manas Wildlife Sanctuary in India are the two natural sites on the danger list outside Africa. The other 11 sites are all located in the African continent.

The Galapagos islands were among the first sites to be inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1978 and further extended in 2001.The wide variety of flora and fauna on the 19 islands has contributed to Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. Due to increased tourism, immigration and threats from invasive species brought by plane and boat by the visitors, the islands have been inscribed on the danger list, following IUCN’s recommendation in 2007.


  • Pedro Rosabal, Senior Programme Officer, IUCN’s Programme on Protected Areas, e [email protected]


  • Borjana Pervan, Media Relations Officer, IUCN, m  +41 79 8574072 , e [email protected]
  • Sonsoles Sanroman, IUCNCommunications, t  +  (ext. 106),
    e [email protected]


  • Please visit for press materials, including:
  • Press releases on the latest news from IUCN at the World Heritage Committee
  • Photo gallery of new natural sites inscribed on the World Heritage List
  • Fact sheets on each new natural site inscribed on the World Heritage List
  • Downloadable audio interviews with IUCN’s experts


Full list of natural sites in danger:


  • Manovo Gounda St. Floris National Park , Central African Republic
  • Comoé National Park, Côte d’Ivoire
  • Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve, Côte d’Ivoire and Guinea
  • Virunga National Park, Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Kahuzi-Biega National Park, Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Garamba National Park, Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Salonga National Park , Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Okapi Wildlife Reserve, Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Simien National Park, Ethiopia
  • Air and Ténéré Natural Reserves , Niger
  • Niokolo-Koba National Park, Senegal


  • Manas Wildlife Sanctuary, India


  • Galápagos Islands, Ecuador

About IUCN

IUCN, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, helps the world find pragmatic solutions to our most pressing environment and development challenges by supporting scientific research; managing field projects all over the world; and bringing governments, NGOs, the UN, international conventions and companies together to develop policy, laws and best practice. IUCN is the independent advisory body to the World Heritage Committee on natural heritage. 

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