Preserving a 41,000-hectare biodiversity hotspot in Ecuador
Morona Santiago Province, Ecuador
About the project:
Andes Amazon Fund (AAF), an Initiative 20x20 financial partner, has created the new Municipal Conservation Area of Huamboya in Ecuador. The new protected area will conserve 41,716 hectares of sub-tropical montane forest along the eastern slope of the Andes Mountains. Located in the province of Morona Santiago, this area increases connectivity between Sangay National Park, Pastaza Provincial Reserve, and Río Upano Municipal Conservation Area and is part of a network of protected areas spanning over 3 million hectares. In recent years, the municipality of Huamboya has been under increasing deforestation pressure due to agricultural development. The new municipal conservation area will reduce this threat.
The municipal government is partnering with civil society organizations, indigenous peoples, and other local communities to protect this vital, biodiverse watershed. Comprised of eight areas between 2,000 and 5,600 feet above sea level, Huamboya fills an altitude gap in the country’s national protected area system. This is critical for the preservation of species such as the vulnerable spectacled bear (Tremarctos ornatus), lowland tapir (Tapirus terrestris), and giant anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla). The area has also been identified as an Endemic Bird Area with an estimated 36 range-restricted species. These include the Ecuadorian piedtail (Phlogophilus hemileucurus), coppery-chested jacamar (Galbula pastazae), and napo sabrewing (Campylopterus villaviscensio). Scientists estimate that Huamboya contains a high level of plant endemism, as 20 percent of Ecuador’s total endemic plant species can be found in the nearby and ecologically-similar area of Sangay National Park.
Huamboya will also safeguard important water resources for local communities and will help preserve the cultural traditions of the indigenous Shuar Nation. AAF worked with the Municipal Government of Huamboya, Nature and Culture International (NCI), and local partners for this conservation achievement. AAF will also provide additional support for the management of the newly created area.
See the AAF press release here.