Dracula Orchid blooming on the forest floor
Status
Funded

Save Newly Discovered Species in Ecuador’s Dracula Orchid Reserve

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Project Overview

The Dracula Reserve was created to protect rare orchid species from the illegal wildlife trade.

  • Species at Risk

    4 species

  • Carbon stored

    231,074 mT*

    *(metric tons of CO2 equivalents)
  • Partner

    Fundación EcoMinga

  • 1,268 Acres Conserved by

    Purchase

Project Cost: $471,941
Funding Raised: $471,941

Please note that your donation may not be immediately reflected in the funding thermometer above.

Ecuador
Acres

1,268

Project Overview

The Dracula Reserve was created to protect rare orchid species from the illegal wildlife trade.

  • Species at Risk

    4 species

  • Carbon stored

    231,074 mT*

    *(metric tons of CO2 equivalents)
  • Partner

    Fundación EcoMinga

  • 1,268 Acres Conserved by

    Purchase

Project Cost: £343,542
Funding Raised: £343,542

Please note that your donation may not be immediately reflected in the funding thermometer above.

Ecuador
Acres

1,268

Save orchids from the wildlife trade

When the majority of people consider the illegal wildlife trade, they imagine ivory from elephants, scales from pangolins and fur from big cats. But the most frequent victim of this trade is actually orchids. According to the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), orchids make up over 70% of their listed species for trade. These flowers are harvested unsustainably for medicine, decoration, cosmetics or food.

The Chocó-Tumbes forest in northwestern Ecuador is a biodiversity hotspot, known for its beautiful and rare orchid species, many of which are endemic and new to science. Unfortunately, this also makes the region popular for illegal harvesting, which threatens these orchid species with extinction.

Did you know?

70%

of the illegal wildlife trade consists of orchid species.

Explore Ecuador

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Brown headed Spider Monkey
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Brown-headed Spider Monkey

Black and chestnut Eagle
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Black and Chestnut Eagle, by Roger Ahlman

Stop destruction to Ecuador’s tropical forests

In 2014, Rainforest Trust and our local partner Fundación EcoMinga created the Dracula Reserve (named after the Dracula Orchid found in the area) to protect this rich montane forest. We have continued our work together throughout the years to expand the reserve as this landscape suffers from rapid deforestation for unsustainable development and road construction.

Now, we need to grow the reserve by an additional 1,268-acres to safeguard the most sensitive and important spot for endemics, while also protecting habitat and creating a corridor between properties in the Dracula Reserve system. With the proposed expansion, the reserve will span just over 5,000 acres.

Expand protection for rare species

Your support of this project will stop illegal orchid harvesting, halt deforestation and harmful road development for the benefit of endemic species including the Rio Faisanes Stubfoot Toad (CR) and the Carchi Andes Toad (EN). The new land also supports threatened species like the Critically Endangered Black-and-chestnut Eagle and the Brown-headed Spider Monkey (Ecuador’s most endangered mammal).

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