Saving threatened habitats worldwide

Progress in the endangered Amazon cloud forests in Ecuador

3 February, 2009 - 11:23 -- World Land Trust
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River Otter
Newly discovered Blakea species

Young River Otter in the Río Zuñac (top) and the new Blakea tree species (above). Click on the images to see larger versions. Photos by Israel Valencia and Lou Jost respectively.

Some of the world's most diverse and also most endangered cloud forests exist on the western edge of the Amazon Basin in Ecuador. It is here that World Land Trust (WLT) partners Fundación EcoMinga are working to establish ecological reserves. EcoMinga have just published a progress report outlining the achievements of last year. These include:

  • Cerro Candelaria Reserve grew by 538 ha and now covers more than 2600 ha. It was in this reserve a new tree species was discovered a year ago. This tree is so far known only from this reserve and is being named in honor of Sir David Attenborough, Patron of the World Land Trust.
  • A 347 ha sector named Brand Stand Forest was established close to the Candelaria Reserve, thanks to a donation to WLT by corporate supporters Brand Stand (through their Organic Meltdown chocolate).
  • The Río Zuñac Reserve grew thanks to several purchases and is now 144 ha. Supporters from the WLT, in particular Dr. McWilliam, and WLT-US funded some of these purchases.
  • There are now four reserve caretakers working full time in the reserves, who not only make sure that nobody hunts or cuts trees, but who also photograph and learn about the wildlife and act as ambassadors in their communities.

You can read the full progress report on the EcoMinga website (pdf, 1.48MB, opens in new window)

You will need Adobe Reader to open PDF files.


Submitted by Anonymous on

This species has the very unique feature of blue color in the entire genus, a regious and showy flower (princess flower), wich is thoroughly endangered or poorly studied. If i were you, i would begin massive micropropagation, build up land barriers, not at least consider to send an inquiry to IUCN for assessment and listing. It is not yet recorded and no efforts are thus undertaken. Otherwise, as B. eriocalyx populations will never settle properly and another million years's loss will be inevitable along a ignorant root digger.

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