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Excellent Ecuadorian Eco-Estate

Tumbesian reserve secures future for endemic birds

Some of the most important areas for endemic birds in South America, the dry forests of La Ceiba and Romeros at the centre of the Tumbesian region in Ecuador, have had their future secured.

The 1,680 hectare Hacienda Romeros estate, which still retains 80% of its semi-deciduous forest cover, has been purchased as a nature reserve by BirdLife International, in collaboration with Fundacion Cientifica San Francisco (FCSF) and Culture International (NCI). The Small Grants for the Purchase of Nature Programme, supported by the Netherlands Postcode Lottery, helped to fund the acquisition.

BirdLife has designated the region an Endemic Bird Area (EBA), and it is one of four EBAs in north-western Peru and Ecuador which BirdLife is targeting with ?164,000 [c.$300,000] raised by the 2004 British Birdwatching Fair. These forests provide the major stronghold for a number of globally threatened birds including the Grey-cheeked Parakeet Brotogeris pyrrhopterus and Blackish-headed Spinetail Synallaxis tithys (both Endangered).

The new reserve will also protect watersheds on which thousands of families depend and prevent erosion caused by deforestation and overgrazing. Local communities will be involved in sustainable activities using forest resources such as medicinal plants, fibres and fruit. Income will be generated from visitors and a number of local jobs will be created.

BirdLife is part of a consortium of conservation groups called Bosques sin Fronterasm, which is co-ordinating conservation action in the region. Another member organisation, Fundacion Jocotoco, has just completed the purchase of another important site, the 800 hectare Jatunpamba-Jorupe about 100km away.

4th July 2014