The Earth's Endangered Creatures website lists 2,588 endangered species in Ecuador. This list is just the symptom. What we need now is a cure for the real underlying causes.
With the next 1,000 years expected to be warmer than normal there is a mass migration happening now from hotter low land areas into the Andes Mountains which offer cooler climates. Allowing for the large-scale migration of all species with permanently protected wildlife migration bio-corridors is the only way to succeed in conserving the region's biodiversity. It’s also the only way to make sure that the rare and endangered species list does not grow exponentially.
We all know that one of the causes of species extinction is habitat loss. But now with the climate warming rapidly, connectivity between diverse habitats is the real make or break cure. Bio-corridors that connect diverse habitats and allow species to seek varying food sources year round are essential. The size and design of these bio-corridors is dependent on many interrelated topics including: geography, ecosystem elements such as wetlands and uplands, flooding and other natural disturbances, historic wildlife migration patterns, ecosystem connectivity, local indigenous populations and their desires to name just a few.
Southeast Ecuador is still in excellent condition in terms of its remaining bio-diversity and opportunities for wildlife migration bio-corridors that could maintain its flora and fauna. AAC has been researching and advocating for the protection of a network of bio-corridors that connect vast areas of the Amazon flatlands with the Andes Mountains which have been inextricably linked for millions of years.
The most urgent conservation priority in Ecuador is connectivity between the Andes mountains and the Amazon basin. The main obstacle is a 2,000 mile human development wall that sits at the base of the Andes and now separates these globally famous biomes. AAC has identified a critical break in this swath of development. A largely intact potential bio-corridor still exists.
The overall bio-diversity that could be maintained between the Amazon flatlands and the 17,000 foot peaks of the Andes would be more than 10,000 times that of the Galapagos Islands.
Conserving this wildlife migration bio-corridor would also conserve the evolutionary processes that created the region's biodiversity in the first place. This is the only real cure. So if we really want to ensure that the next generation does not have an endangered species list that is many times longer, we have to act now.
A bio-corridor network would create a globally significant ecological attraction. This in turn would create large bio-tourism opportunities that would help wean Ecuador off of the road building, oil and mining that threaten to destroy the area and the many indigenous cultures that have lived there in harmony for thousands of years.
Ecuador’s only reputation around the world is for biodiversity. This is the country's last chance to actually maintain that reputation.