World Land Trust’s work in Ecuador spans the country from rainforests of the Amazon basin, dry forests towards the Pacific coast, to cloud forest and Paramo of the Andes. Despite its small size (not much bigger than the UK), the diversity of its habitats makes it one of the most biodiverse countries in the world. With 1,600 bird species, it has 17% of the world’s total bird species and 16,000 species of plants (25% of which are endemic).
WLT is supporting conservation projects across the country in partnership with Fundacion Jocotoco, Fundación EcoMinga, Fundación ProBosque and Naturaleza y Cultura Ecuador.
Projects in Ecuador
Buenaventura Reserve is situated in a rare remnant tropical cloud forest between 400 and 1,200 metres above sea level.
Of all the Fundación Jocotoco reserves, Buenaventura contains the highest number of rare bird species, with at least 15 classified as globally threatened. This makes it the private reserve with the largest number of threatened species in Ecuador.
Cerro Blanco Protected Forest
Located just 15 kilometres from Ecuador’s largest city Guayaquil and comprised of seven forested hills in the eastern extension of the Cordillera Chongon-Colonche Mountains the 14,826 acre (6,078 hectare) Cerro Blanco Protected Forest is one of the last remaining Ecuadorian dry forests.
The Fierro Urco Water Protection Area will protect almost 200,000 acres (79,000 hectares) of páramo habitat on a series of mountaintops in the western Andes of southern Ecuador. The páramo is home to many striking examples of Andean wildlife and because of its unique species it is referred to as an evolutionary hotspot.
Jorupe Reserve is located in the Tumbesian forest, at the very southern tip of Ecuador, close to the Peruvian border and protects many Tumbesian endemic species.
Llanganates-Sangay Biological Corridor
The Llanganates Sangay Corridor is a large tract of virgin forest, which contains a unique diversity of endemic orchids and other endangered species. The corridor is situated within the transition zone between the Andes and the Amazon, located within the Upper Pastaza Watershed, in the province of Tungurahua, Ecuador.
Known locally as the Maycu Reserve, Nangaritza protects foothill rainforest of the Nangaritza Valley, Zamora Chinchipe province, connecting the Andes and the Amazon. This highly biodiverse watershed falls within the Podocarpus-El Condor Biosphere Reserve where you will find some of the highest levels of plant diversity in the world.
Narupa Reserve consists of tropical forest and is located in the Napo Province of north east Ecuador close to the Río Hollin, between the volcanoes Antisana and Sumaco. This area protects some of the remaining foothill forest at an altitude of 1,100 metres above sea level on the east slope of the Andes, just above the Amazon lowlands.
Podocarpus-El Condor Biosphere Reserve
Podocarpus-El Condor Biosphere Reserve is a network of protected areas that covers more than 2.6 million acres of habitat in southern Ecuador. Key forests surrounding the gap are protected within the Podocarpus National Park and by a reserve established by the Zamora Municipality to safeguard water resources in sub-catchments of the River Nea.
Río Canandé Reserve is situated in Esmeraldas province on the banks of the River (Río) Canandé in north-western Ecuador, in the western foothills of the Andes at an altitude of around 500 metres above sea level. The reserve protects a fragment of the highly biodiverse Chocó habitat.
Tapichalaca Reserve is located below Cerro Tapichalaca on the eastern slope of the Andes. Since the initial purchase of 650 hectares in 1998, the reserve has been progressively expanded and habitat types from high altitude paramó (at 3,500 m) to sub-tropical montane forest (at 1,800 m) are now represented.
The reserve was initially established to protect what was the only known site of the newly discovered Jocotoco Antpitta.
Tumbesian Dry Forests
World Land Trust works with Naturaleza y Cultura Ecuador (NCEcuador) to conserve the Tumbesian dry forests of western Ecuador between the Pacific Ocean and the foothills of the Andes. WLT has been working with NCEcuador to purchase and enlarge key forest sites in the Tumbesian lowlands.
Nestled on the slopes of the Pichincha volcano, Yanacocha reserve is just 15 kilometres from the Ecuadorian capital of Quito. The reserve was created by World Land Trust (WLT) partner Fundación Jocotoco (Jocotoco) to protect almost the entire known world population of the Critically Endangered hummingbird, the Black-breasted Puffleg, whose known range is restricted to the Pichincha Volcano.