The alien tree species Cinchona succirubra, the Red Quinine-tree (Rubiaceae), was introduced to the Galápagos Islands, Ecuador, in 1946, for purposes of cultivation, but causes much concern as, by 1987, it was found to cover about 4,000 hectares in the highlands of Santa Cruz Island, changing the original, largely endemic, vegetation. Some limited herbicide trials have been made by the Galápagos National Park Service, but a really successful method of controlling this pest still remains to be found.
The removal of Cinchona plants from a 1000-ha Intensive Control Area (ICA) within the Galápagos National Park has been successful to date. However, large stands of the tree exist in the adjacent agricultural area of Santa Cruz Island, as well as elsewhere in the National Park. With the maturation of these stands, an increased input of Cinchona succirubra seeds to the ICA can be anticipated.
Strengthened use of manual, chemical, and biological, control measures are therefore recommended on a shortterm basis, in order to conserve the unique highland vegetation of Santa Cruz Island, Galápagos.