Sangay Podocarpus Bio-Corridor

The double ended red arrow above sits on the proposed biocorridor that will reconnect the two national parks shown in green.

Adam Gebb, Executive Director of Andes Amazon Conservancy, is currently serving as a wildlife migration consultant to the Ecuadorian Ministry of the Environment in Cuenca. He is helping the coalition of organizations involved in The Sangay Podocarpus Biocorridor to sort through the wildlife migrational challenges in the area that are being caused by rapid deforestation.

This is the top land conservation project in the country and seeks to connect Sangay and Podocarpus National Parks by creating a 180 kilometer long conservation corridor down the spine of the Andes. The terrain is rugged and generally has its western boundary in areas of highland paramo and its eastern boundary at the base of the Andes at the transition to the Amazon.

The government and the NGO’s involved are slowly working to conserve the area piece by piece. The newly created 32,000 hectare Rio Negro Sopladora National park is the latest area inside the Sangay Podocarpus Biocorridor to be protected.

Rio Negro Sopladora National Park

The overarching goal of bio-corridors is to allow the processes of evolution that create biodiversity to continue. This means thinking about insects which make up over 90% of all rainforest species. Insects cycle nutrients, pollinate plants, disperse seeds, maintain soil fertility, control populations of nuisance organisms, and are a major food source for other species. Around the world, steep drops in insect populations and diversity are causing entire ecosystems to collapse.

Here are some of the main challenges that the project faces:

Most historic wildlife migration did not flow north south along the Andes, but instead was east to west as species moved up into the Andes or down into the Amazon. But there’s a 3,000km development corridor sitting at the base of the Andes that mostly blocks this migration. There are only a few remaining holes in the development corridor where wildlife can migrate up into the Andes from the Amazon and they urgently need protection. One of these opportunities is west of El Quimi National Park. Conserving lands here would allow insect pollinators (for example) to migrate up into the lower Andes.

A general project challenge is to conserve more lowland areas. Humans cannot deforest all lowland valley’s and expect natural communities to thrive as they once did on just the highlands. These developed and deforested areas are causing serious wildlands fragmentation. There are 6 critical connectivity points in the biocorridor where migration is or will soon be blocked due to deforestation. These are areas where the conservation of both sides of roads and reforestation will be required to maintain wildlife migration.

In this satellite image the proposed Sangay Podocarpus Biocorridor has blue lines on either side. White areas have been deforested. The area in red remains forested and is a great opportunity to protect one of the last remaining connections between the Amazon and the Andes. The red arrows are critical wildlife migration points that need to be conserved and reforested.

All the changes mentioned above are aimed at maintaining insect diversity. Insects cycle nutrients, pollinate plants, disperse seeds, maintain soil structure and fertility, control populations of nuisance organisms, and provide a major food source for many other species. Other items to note in the map...

The dark green color on the right side is millions of acres of ancient rainforest in the indigenous territories. The brown areas are paramo which is a neotropical high mountain biome with a vegetation composed mainly of giant rosette plants, shrubs and grasses.

While this project is challenging, it is completely realistic to succeed due to the large number of NGO’s involved.. The Sangay Podocarpus Biocorridor area is less than 20% deforested and contains large intact ancient rainforests with amazing array of wildlife including spectacled bears, woolly, capuchin and squirrel monkeys, marmosets, tamarins, two and three-toed sloths, jaguar, black panther and tapir.

Andes Amazon Conservancy will be advocating for landscape connectivity improvements that will help stabilize insect diversity which is the true foundation of all terrestrial ecosystems. We can reintroduce mammals later, but extremely diverse insect communities are little studied and poorly understood. To maintain them, they have to be free to migrate as needed to meet their needs in a quickly changing climatic environment.

Your donation will help us to survey and study key lowland areas that are critical for connectivity between islands of habitat
in the biocorridor so that they can be conserved before further deforestation occurs.

Adam Gebb, Executive Director of Andes Amazon Conservancy, is currently serving as a wildlife migration consultant to the Ecuadorian Ministry of the Environment in Cuenca. He is helping the coalition of organizations involved in The Sangay Podocarpus Biocorridor to sort through the wildlife migrational challenges in the area that are being caused by rapid deforestation.

The double ended red arrow above sits on the proposed biocorridor that will reconnect the two national parks shown in green.

This is the top land conservation project in the country and seeks to connect Sangay and Podocarpus National Parks by creating a 180 kilometer long conservation corridor down the spine of the Andes. The terrain is rugged and generally has its western boundary in areas of highland paramo and its eastern boundary at the base of the Andes at the transition to the Amazon.

The government and the NGO’s involved are slowly working to conserve the area piece by piece. The newly created 32,000 hectare Rio Negro Sopladora National park is the latest area inside the Sangay Podocarpus Biocorridor to be protected.

Rio Negro Sopladora National Park

The overarching goal of bio-corridors is to allow the processes of evolution that create biodiversity to continue. This means thinking about insects which make up over 90% of all rainforest species. Insects cycle nutrients, pollinate plants, disperse seeds, maintain soil fertility, control populations of nuisance organisms, and are a major food source for other species. Around the world, steep drops in insect populations and diversity are causing entire ecosystems to collapse.

Here are some of the main challenges that the project faces:

Most historic wildlife migration did not flow north south along the Andes, but instead was east to west as species moved up into the Andes or down into the Amazon. But there’s a 3,000km development corridor sitting at the base of the Andes that mostly blocks this migration. There are only a few remaining holes in the development corridor where wildlife can migrate up into the Andes from the Amazon and they urgently need protection. One of these opportunities is west of El Quimi National Park. Conserving lands here would allow insect pollinators (for example) to migrate up into the lower Andes.

A general project challenge is to conserve more lowland areas. Humans cannot deforest all lowland valley’s and expect natural communities to thrive as they once did on just the highlands. These developed and deforested areas are causing serious wildlands fragmentation. There are 6 critical connectivity points in the biocorridor where migration is or will soon be blocked due to deforestation. These are areas where the conservation of both sides of roads and reforestation will be required to maintain wildlife migration.

In this satellite image the proposed Sangay Podocarpus Biocorridor has blue lines on either side. White areas have been deforested. The area in red remains forested and is a great opportunity to protect one of the last remaining connections between the Amazon and the Andes. The red arrows are critical wildlife migration points that need to be conserved and reforested.

All the changes mentioned above are aimed at maintaining insect diversity. Insects cycle nutrients, pollinate plants, disperse seeds, maintain soil structure and fertility, control populations of nuisance organisms, and provide a major food source for many other species.

Other items to note in the map... The dark green color on the right side is millions of acres of ancient rainforest in the indigenous territories. The brown areas are paramo which is a neotropical high mountain biome with a vegetation composed mainly of giant rosette plants, shrubs and grasses.

While this project is challenging, it is completely realistic to succeed due to the large number of NGO’s involved.. The Sangay Podocarpus Biocorridor area is less than 20% deforested and contains large intact ancient rainforests with amazing array of wildlife including spectacled bears, woolly, capuchin and squirrel monkeys, marmosets, tamarins, two and three-toed sloths, jaguar, black panther and tapir.

Andes Amazon Conservancy will be advocating for landscape connectivity improvements that will help stabilize insect diversity which is the true foundation of all terrestrial ecosystems. We can reintroduce mammals later, but extremely diverse insect communities are little studied and poorly understood. To maintain them, they have to be free to migrate as needed to meet their needs in a quickly changing climatic environment.

Your donation will help us to survey and study key lowland areas that are critical for connectivity between islands of habitat in the biocorridor so that they can be conserved before further deforestation occurs.