In Ecuador there is 17% of the total number of birds that exist in the world. In the annual Global Big Day competition developed by the Cornell University in May last year, the nation achieved the third position.
17% of the total birds on the planet are in Ecuador, as evidenced by the Global Big Day competition, where the country ranks third, behind Colombia and Peru. The provinces of Pichincha, Napo and Orellana have the highest concentration of these species, whose importance is vital for the functioning of ecosystems.
“A large part of birds serve as pollinators and reproducers of new plants, which guarantees a continuous existence of plants,” says environmental consultant Silvia Sánchez. The ecorruta of Mindo, in Pichincha, allows to observe birds of several species.
Here in a single day 316 varieties of birds were observed, of the 1,154 that in total can be seen in the country in a single day. The best known routes for observation in the park are those included in the sectors of Añangu and Tambococha, on the banks of the Payamino, Napo and Coca rivers and also in the Taracoa parish.
On the day of sighting developed last May, the birders -experts and novices- distinguished fish eagles, macaws, night herons, toucans, trogons, woodpeckers, among others. According to the Ministry of the Environment (MAE), several ornithologists observed representative birds of the Yasuní, very difficult to find, such as the agami heron, the adorned azure eagle, the long-tailed tyrant, the red-headed cacique or the pecchicinear anthill, which experts say is found only in Peru.
In the province of Pichincha there are around 30 routes, distributed in 24 km in diameter in the Mindo-Tandayapas circuit.
The sighting of birds in the country dates back at least three decades, however, it is in the last five years that the number of interested in this activity grew, through private initiatives and citizens.
“I think that from the government side there is a need to provide more support and incentives to promote this practice, which can become an interesting product that generates many resources for the country,” said Juan Manuel Carrión, ornithologist.
The specialist insists that the country has the ideal conditions to promote and position bird tourism, as Costa Rica does, which has only 50% of natural heritage of what our country presents.
“The undoubted advantage of Ecuador is that being a small territory can easily travel different ecosystems in a single day and that should be positioned.” The Ministry of Tourism recognizes that bird tourism is part of the strategies to establish the nation as a “leading green destination of the world” and for that it participates in international fairs.
“Ecuador is positioned on an international scale as a perfect scenario to observe birds, due to the diversity of climatic floors and ecosystems such as cloud forests, moors, valleys, tropical forests and others.”
Daniel Arias, member of the collective “Aves Quito”, said that the Ecuadorian biodiversity allows the country to have 10 areas of bird endemism which can be reached with specialized guides.
The “Fieldbook of the Birds of Ecuador” Guide, developed by the Ecuadorian Lelis Navarrete, mentions the existence of 35 endemic bird species, six of them live in continental Ecuador and 29 are found in the Galápagos archipelago. There are also 192 species of tyranid birds (flytraps), 131 of hummingbirds and 152 of tanagers. (I)