Bird on a Vine

Why Ecuador?

Ecuador is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world. Roughly the size of Colorado, USA, Ecuador has the highest rate of tree species per km2 worldwide, with 299 species recorded per km2 (100m x 100m) according to recent studies by Dr. Mika Peck from the University of Sussex, England. In comparison, the total number of tree species in the entire United States is estimated at approximately 1,000 – this is only 3x the amount as measured in one square km in Ecuador. Research in Ecuador continues and many plants/animal species are still to be discovered. The last count in 2004 showed 17,084 total species of plants and this number is estimated to reach over 20,000 when all research is completed. At latest count, Ecuador has over 1,800 species of bird and 369 mammal species, 30% of which occur nowhere else in the world except for Ecuador. Without conservation efforts, biologists predict that 15-37% of the animal species living in Ecuador will be extinct by 2050.

The forests and animals that live in Ecuador are precious and under constant threat. Between 1987 and 2001, 54% of the forests in Ecuador have been lost to deforestation and current deforestation rate is estimated at 1.6% (one of the highest in Latin America).



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