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Ecuador to Relocate 5,000 Illegal Residents of Galapagos Islands


Ecuador's government says it will relocate 5,000 people living illegally in the Galapagos Islands. The islands are listed as a World Hertage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

The nation's environment minister, Ana Alban, said this week that the illegal residents had come to the islands as tourists and stayed, most of them on the most-populated islands of Santa Cruz and San Cristobal. She said they would be deported to the mainland.

She also said some 15,000 people live on the islands legally.

The Galapagos Islands are famous for hosting many rare species of birds, animals and plants. Ecuador's government says it is working to protect the archipelago from the effects of the many tourists who visit each year.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.