Ecuador - Aves y Conservación
Mission of the organisation
To contribute to the conservation of birds, their habitats and the biodiversity in Ecuador, for the benefit of people and with their active participation.
Aves & Conservación (Corporación Ornitológica del Ecuador) activities are carried out within one or more of our Strategic Objectives according to our 2003-2008 Business Plan:
- Through research, increase the knowledge on birds, their habitats and threats they face in Ecuador
- Implement actions aimed at the conservation of birds and their habitats, and promote sustainable development
- Promote public awareness of birds and their habitats through environmental education and sharing of information
- Influence decision-making on environmental issues
Research and Conservation Projects
Threatened Birds Programme. Aves & Conservación is focusing research efforts on several endangered species on certain IBAs including: the Mindo and Western Flanks of the Pichincha Volcano IBA, Guayllabamba Valley IBA, Atacazo IBA, Cashca Totoras Protection Forest IBA, Cotacachi Cayapas Ecological Reserve IBA, San Cristobal IBA.
- We have carried out a five year long research effort on the Black-breasted Puffleg (Eriocnemis nigrivestis) on five different locations: Yanacocha, Chiquilpe/Cruz Loma, Verdecocha, Alaspungo and Lloa. This project have counted with the support of the British Bird Watching Fair, UICN, American Bird Conservancy, National Audubon Society, EcoCiencia/Conservation International, Oleoducto de Crudos Pesados Ecuador and Idea Wild
- Search for the Turquoise-throated Puffleg (Eriocnemis godini) thought out the Guayllabamba and Pululahua Valleys
- Search for the Yellow-eared Parrot (Ognorhynchus icterotis)
- Member of the Scientific Committee advising on the EIA for a windfarm project on the San Cristobal Island, Galapagos Archipelago, that may affect populations of the Galapagos Petrel (Pterodroma phaeopygia)
Important Bird Areas Programme
- Aves & Conservación has already completed the first phase of this programme through which 107 IBAs (97 continental IBAs and 10 for Galapagos) have been identified
- The Ministry of Environment of Ecuador has recognized IBAs as “public interest areas that are fundamental for the protection of bird species”
- Aves & Conservación is in the process of publishing its National IBA Directory
Aquatic birds programme: A diagnostic study on the current state of national waterbird conservation is being produced. Country Report will be part of a larger regional plan (to include recommendations regarding species, sites, and conservation action priorities, as well as strategies to act on these priorities and address information gaps) and will also be used to develop range-wide strategies including international collaboration between nations.
Aquatic birds Census: On July 2004, for the first time in 10 years, Aves & Conservación undertook and re-initiated the aquatic bird census. From 2005 censuses will be carried out twice a year, in February and July. During the 2004 census, 13,759 aquatic birds were recorded from 22 sites (from 68 species and 14 families). A publication, “El Censo Neotropical de Aves Acuáticas 2004: Una herramienta para la conservación”, has been produced based on these results.
Migratory birds in IBAs: This project is aimed at contributing to the conservation of neotropical migratory birds and other important biodiversity in Ecuador through the development of an IBA network, and its conservation. The project will provide:
- A set of excellent quality data that will be accessed on-line regarding the presence and abundance of neotropical migratory birds within the Ecuadorian IBA network, along with information regarding globally threatened, endemic and congregational bird species, as well as threats and protection status for each site
- A set of priority species and project concepts for those species that incorporate urgent actions to be taken in priority IBAs for neotropical migratory birds and other biodiversity in Ecuador
- A network of local people interested in the conservation of such places as well as about neotropical migratory birds
- A set of distribution maps for critical neotropical migratory birds in the IBAs in Ecuador
Monitoring of the construction and operation of the Heavy Oil Pipeline in the Mindo and Western Flanks of the Pichincha Volcano IBA: This project is about to finalise over the next few months.
- An article summarizing preliminary findings was published in Lyonia, Volume 6 (2), December 2004
- So far, 393 species have been recorded, 25 of them are categorised as under threat (either globally or nationally). Two of these are Ecuadorian endemics and 12 are endemics shared with Colombia or Peru
Birds of Cordillera del Cóndor: With the support of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Aves & Conservación carried out eight expeditions to the Cordillera del Cóndor area, for a total of 236 field-working days, from 2000 to 2004. A technical report “Una Exploración de las Aves de la Cordillera del Cóndor que Permita Generar Pautas para su Conservación”, 2000 – 2004, prepared by Ana E. Agreda, M.Sc., Project Leader, was submitted to the the MacArthur Foundation on April 2004.
- Data gathered from this project was used by Fundación Natura to design a conservation strategy for the Cordillera del Cóndor area and based on such input the Ministry of Environment of Ecuador created a new protected forest in the area
- Additionally, the Cordillera del Cóndor area was also designated as one of the 107 Important Bird Areas of Ecuador
- One scientific note was published during 2004 and several other articles are going to be published during 2005 reporting findings of this project in the Cóndor area
- Two articles were also submitted to Ornitología Neotropical, the Neotropical Ornithological Society journal
- An article regarding the Cóndor area birds was recently published in a book by Fundación Natura (Paz y Conservación en la Cordillera del Cóndor, Ecuador – Perú, 2005)
- More than 900 blood samples were taken in the area; part of them are being analyzed by researchers from the Center for Tropical Research (CTR)
- The project also generated a vast amount of audiovisual material (1,014 slides, 114 photographs, 40 cassettes, 3 mini-discs), which are part of Aves & Conservación public library