An equatorial treasure trove

Ecuador is home to some of the most fantastic arrays of landscapes, habitats and species on the planet. Despite its relatively small size, it hosts approximately 10% of the world’s biodiversity.

Transected by both the equator and the Andean mountain chain, and bordered by the Pacific Ocean, Ecuador encompasses four distinct regions each with its own natural and cultural beauty, charm and value.

The coastal region is a mix of beaches, bays and small islands where mangroves and jungles punctuate the coastline, greeting the rich marine life. Moving eastwards, the highland region is bordered by an avenue of snow-capped volcanoes sporting precious high altitude moorlands (páramos) and rainforests.

Descending to the east, the mountain landscape gives rise to rivers that flow into humid, lowland Amazon rainforest.

Lying about 1,000 km off the coast of Ecuador are the Galapagos Islands, a volcanic archipelago well known for unique wildlife that once upon a time enthralled Charles Darwin.

Unfortunately, Ecuador’s natural wealth is threatened by unsustainable activities from extractive sectors such as oil and gas, industrial fisheries, logging, mining and infrastructure. Iconic species such as jaguars, great green macaws and brown-headed spider monkeys are all in jeopardy from the resulting habitat loss.

Ecuador facts
Country in Americas & Caribbean

Size (land & water):

283,561 km²

Population (2016 est.):

16,080,778

GDP per capita (2016 est.):

US$11,000

Ecuador is located in South America. It is bordered by Colombia, Peru and the Pacific Ocean.

17%

of all bird species in the world can be found in Ecuador.

Two

natural World Heritage sites are found in Ecuador, including the famous Galapagos Islands.

Our work to protect Ecuador’s biodiversity

The most significant tract of Chocó rainforest in Ecuador, the Awacachi Corridor, was in grave danger of being converted to pasture and oil palm plantations. This would have destroyed vital habitat for species including endangered great green macaws, majestic jaguars and many other threatened species, as well as jeopardising a crucial wildlife corridor.

Fauna & Flora International (FFI) stepped in to help Ecuadorian organisation Fundación Sirua to protect 10,000 hectares of forest. Our core work here is to maintain and improve biodiversity through reforestation, biodiversity monitoring and conservation enforcement by locally trained rangers drawn from neighbouring communities.

In addition, FFI is working with other local partners, Naturaleza y Cultura Internacional and the Municipality of San Lorenzo, and supported by the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund, to assess the ecosystem services provided by the corridor and other forested areas in this municipality, with special emphasis on water resources. The assessment will identify essential conservation areas for the municipality to maintain those ecosystem services for the direct benefit of people and nature. Read more (en Español).

“I am very proud of FFI’s work in supporting the conservation of Ecuador’s natural heritage.”

Julio BernalSenior Programme Manager, Americas & Caribbean