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Galapagos removed from list of sites that are endangered by environmental threats, tourism

BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) — The Galapagos Islands have been removed from the UNESCO list of sites endangered by environmental threats or overuse.

The island chain, about 620 miles (1,000 kms) off Ecuador's coast, is home to unique animal species that inspired Charles Darwin's ideas on evolution.

In 2007, the United Nations body included the World Heritage site on its endangered list because of damage from tourism, immigration and invasive species.

A UNESCO committee meeting in Brazil Wednesday said strong action by Ecuador's government to battle these problems means the Galapagos Islands are now safer.

Being on the danger list "allows UNESCO to allocate immediate assistance from the World Heritage Fund to the endangered property," UNESCO's website said.