A Small Piece Of World's Biodiversity
Ecuador is the most diverse country in proportion to its territory, with 9.2 million of forest and wildlife species per km2. Ecuador becomes a turistical jewel for visitors attracted by its cultural diversity, becoming a heritage for indigenous communities and for the rest country.
Coexisting 14 nationalities and 18 indigenous population (montubios, blacks, mestizos and whites). Due to the Cultural Heritage of the Zápara’s community located at the Amazon Rain Forest became an Oral and Intangible Heritage by Unesco. The Straw hats also was declared an intangible heritage of humanity in 2012
The richness of Ecuador lies in its DIVERSITY:
19% of the country surface represent to protected areas, Ecuador has:
•Two National Parks of Natural Heritage, which are: Galápagos National Park and The Sangay National Park.
•Six Biosphere Reserves declared by UNESCO, which are: Sumaco National Park, Yasuní National Park, Podocuarpus National Park-El Cóndor National Park , Galapagos National Park and El Cajas National Park.
•The second in the world to have endemic vertebrate’s diversity.
•The third in the world to have amphibian’s diversity.
•The fourth in the world to have a wide variety of bird species.
•The fifth in the world to own butterflies (papilionideas).
•Reaches almost 10% of plants around the world.
•Holds 10.7% of vertebrate’s species in the world.
•Becoming home of 35% of the hummingbird species of the world.
•It has 27 cities declared Cultural Heritage Sites.
Reasons for all this diversity
An ecosystem is formed by a set of living beings (birds, fish, plants, etc.) that interact with their environment. The diversity of a region is determined by different ecosystems and natural environments that it has. Ecuador is located in the fire ring of the Earth, which is why it receives solar rays charged with more energy that’s why since its strategically location it allows to have twelve hours of daylight throughout the year, making this zone the most productive area in the world. On the other hand, the Humboldt water current that divides the Ecuadorian coast into a dry zone and the south into humid zone creates micro climates that harbor a large number of forest and wildlife species. On the other hand the volcanic activity aids the generation of micro-environments, which are centers of production of new species.
Paradise For Bird Lovers
More than 100 sites for bird diversity have been identified in Ecuador, forming part of the IBAs (Important Bird Area) which is an international program designed to protect bird sites for threatened species, whose main criteria for the identification of sites are the presence of endangered and / or endemic species in conjunction with migratory species. In Ecuador, 1616 of bird species have been identified, mostly found in the tropical humid forests, therefore only in hummingbirds or quindes this country harbor 124 species, which represent the 35% of all species of hummingbirds in the world, that’s why Ecuador is known as “the hummingbird’s country”. Besides, Ecuador has one of the Endemic Bird Areas (EBA), known as the Chocó, site where you can see more than 300 species.
Ecuador is the fourth country in South America and the ninth country in the world to have mammals diversity, In despite of its small territorial extension, it harbor many biological groups species and the greatest number of species of living beings per unit area. Mammals are no exception: to date, 433 species of mammals have been identified, but this number will be continue to increase as more species are being discovered.
In Ecuador, 597 species of amphibians have been identified and it is one of the highest concentrations of worldwide. They also are a medical source because they produce substances with analgesic properties good for human beings .Therefore, Ecuador is privileged since it hosts the fourth largest amphibious-fauna worldwide, and it has the highest amphibian extension per unit area (2440 species per million km2) which makes it the region with the highest amount of frogs and toads species.
Ecuador is a country with a greatest reptile’s diversity in the world, since it has approximately three species per 2000 km2. To date, 473 species of reptile’s species have been recorded, including 33 species of turtles, 5 species of crocodiles and alligators, 3 species of suborder Amphisbaenia, 195 species of lizards and 237 species of snakes.
Flora in Ecuador
The Ecuadorian flora is very rich and varied due to the diversity of ecosystems that exist; such as “mangroves, the tropical jungle, Andean forests, and Andean moorlands”. It is estimated that there are around twenty-two thousand different and unique plants species, which allow an experience to be achieved between the human being and it surroundings
POLYLEPIS OR PAPER TREES (Polylepis Incana)
It can be found along the 3,000 m in the Highlands moorlands. it name comes from the Greek roots poly (many) and letis (layers), referring to its strange bark because it has multiple layers that come off as if they were sheets of paper, which is for the protection of the tree against the insects damage.
GUAYACÁN YELLOW TREES (Chrysantha de Tabebuia)
Endemic species that is found in the dry forests of Ecuador, are characterized by being a tree of 12 to 22 meters height, it has a compact form of bark with strong and deep roots, although what makes it attractive are its flowers of golden yellow color .They are found in Esmeraldas, Manabí, Guayas, El Oro and Loja cities, especially the parish of Mangahurco, which it blooming every 8 days after the beginning of the rainy season (January, February).
FRAILEJON (Espeletia pycnophylla ssp. Llanganatis)
It’s located at the Andean moorlands at 3,100-4,500 m.s. Is known for having very soft green pubescent leaves, and its yellow flowers; reaching an approximate 10 m size in height. It is a protected species because it increases the water flow in watersheds on the other hand its considered medicinal plant because it is used to cure asthma.
ROSES – ROSACEAE (Rosoideae)
There are more than 100 rose species known which are distributed throughout the world. Ecuador is considered as the fourth producer of worldwide roses, the same ones that are characterized because they are perennial or deciduous with a 5 to 15 centimeters length, and very striking. They are used for making domestic products as oils, beverages, ice cream and cosmetic products such as shampoo, rinse, soap, perfumes and among others.
TAXO – (Passiflora Tripartita)
Originally from the Andean Zone of South America, is known as ” Quito’s flower” due to its grown at cold and temperate forests, this flower rich in vitamin A and sweet fruit, is use to make juices, smoothies and ice cream, has some healing properties, reducing anxiety and insomnia.
ORCHIDS – (Orchidaceae)
Ecuador is known as “Orchids Country” emphasizing that we possess four of the fifth orchid’s subfamilies, the same ones that grow in tropical, subtropical environments and in temperate or cold zones. Known as the “queens of imitation” due to their surprising ways of imitating, they grow on rocks with moss and others on the ground, have shapes, colors and typically smell that make them enigmatic plants and thre are issue of investigation.