Ecuadorians will be able to identify condor sighting sites thanks to a map in Google Earth
Sigsipamba, via Papallacta, Peñón del Isco, Cerro El Tablon and the Antisana Ecological Reserve are the five areas that make up a map, on the Google Earth platform, for the sighting of condors in the province of Pichincha.
The map, which has GPS points, will be made public this Sunday as part of a campaign to raise awareness about the importance of caring for this emblematic bird of the country that is currently being developed by the Quito Zoo.
People can easily reach the chosen areas via GPS. In addition, the tool allows you to observe real images of the condors sighted in each place and that, for the most part, have been taken by technicians from the Cóndor Andino Foundation. The creation of this tool seeks for citizens to come closer and observe how majestic this bird is, says Gabriela Arévalo, director of education for conservation at the Quito Zoo.
The specialist says that the idea came from participating in the census of this bird carried out last year in Pichincha. When the observers who participated, including technicians from the Quito Zoo, were counted, several GPS points were sent to them with the locations of the ideal areas to spot condors.
“ Although there are some places that are a bit complicated to enter that were part of the census, there are others that are very easy to access so that citizens can proceed to observe the condors. From that moment we raised the need to have a tool that allows citizens to observe condors, so we decided to create this map on the Google Earth platform , “he says.
The five locations selected to be part of the map were chosen after a careful analysis, since, according to Arévalo, it is not intended that these places become tourist sighting areas where people go and cause some damage or pollute the ecosystem.
“We have even been careful to verify if condors are nesting in these places. At the moment there are these five points, but more will be added. The intention is that Ecuadorians see this bird, since many have heard about it, but have never seen it or do not know how to identify it. We want them to create a link with the species ”, says Arévalo.
This map is one more component of the Quito Biodiverso project carried out by the Quito Zoo as the winner of the tenth call for competitive environmental funds from the municipality of the capital. It is planned that three campaigns will be broadcast until June. Currently it is being managed that of Condors and Andean bears fly and walk in Quito. The second will be on the marsupial frog and streams, the last will cover urban trees.
In fact, this week the Quito Zoo published a powerful video in which it simulates being in 2041. In that year the Andean condors and bears have become extinct in Ecuador due to the deterioration of their habitats, agricultural expansion, excessive consumption, abandoned dogs they became feral and the hunt. The audiovisual tries to alert us that this fictitious situation can become real if we do not make a change now.
“ Bears see how the agricultural frontier is advancing rapidly against their forests and there are frequent encounters with humans that end badly for the bears. The condor has been repeatedly shot and poisoned, as a result of conflicts in which it is the last link in a chain in which carrion intended to eliminate out-of-control dogs is poisoned, which destroy biodiversity and peasant production animals in the páramos ”, Says Martín Bustamante, director of the Quito Zoo and secretary of the National Condor Group in Ecuador.
The conservation actions that are being carried out, especially the Andean condor, will also be counted. The actions include research, monitoring, ex situ reproduction and rescue of these animals.
“It will be interesting for people to learn about satellite monitoring, how an ex situ reproduction is made or what photo-identification is for. We are going to get into science issues, ”says Arévalo.
In addition, there will be a call to action from citizens, especially in urban areas, who do not feel identified with these species.
The link to the digital map will be published on the Quito Zoo’s social networks. (I)