Projects

FUNDED: Rescuing the Esmeraldas Woodstar, Ecuador

Esmeraldas WoodstarPROJECT SNAPSHOT

LOCATION: Ayampe, western Ecuador

SIZE: 1,200 acres
KEY SPECIES: Esmeraldas Woodstar and many endemic and threatened bird and mammal species
HABITAT: Deciduous tropical forest
THREATS: Beach resort developments and deforestation for pasturelands
ACTION: Establish a new 1,200 acre protected area to save the Esmeraldas Woodstar
LOCAL PARTNER: Fundación Jocotoco
FINANCIAL NEED: $200,000 for land purchase
$200,000DONATIONS TO DATE
$200,000OUR GOAL
Ayampe Reserve
esmeraldas woodstar by J Illanes
Ayampe reserve

Thanks to generous support from our donors, this project has been successfully funded.

One of the world’s rarest hummingbirds is the tiny Esmeraldas Woodstar, measuring in, even with a fairly long tail, at barely 2 1/2 inches! This diminutive “estrellita” (or little star) is found only in a very small area of western Ecuador, where it is gravely threatened by the conversion of its native forest habitat to grazing land. No one can really be sure how many are left, though it could be as few as 1,000 individuals, perhaps many fewer.

The Woodstar was little known until a few years ago, when researchers working for our Ecuadorian partner discovered its primary nesting areas along streams on the coastal cordillera near what was until recently the sleepy village of Ayampe. They also discovered that the former “sleepy” village was becoming a magnet for beach-loving tourists. Much woodland has already been destroyed for beach resorts.

With the support of local communities, eager to protect as much native forests as possible, we need to move quickly before second homes and beachfront development take over entirely, and urgently require $200,000 to make critical land purchases. This bird can be saved, but we’ll need to move fast!

Please help save this biodiversity jewel.

 

Map of the Project Area

 


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