The United Nations has put Ecuador's Galapagos Islands on its list of endangered places.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, UNESCO, said invasive species, tourism, and immigration are threatening the archipelago's unique plants and animals. UNESCO issued the statement Tuesday at a meeting of its World Heritage Committee in New Zealand.

In April, Ecuador's president, Rafael Correa, declared the islands at risk and vowed to impose restrictions on residency and tourist permits.

The volcanic islands, 1,000 kilometers west of Ecuador, inspired British naturalist Charles Darwin to formulate his theory of evolution.

The introduction of non-native species, such as goats, has sped up the ecosystem's decline.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.