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Ecuador

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Versión Española de la Secci?n del Ecuador

 



Ecology of Ecuador

| Introduction | Ecuador Flora | Ecuador Fauna |
| Ecosystems of Ecuador | Ecuador National Parks & Reserves |

Introduction

Ecuador is one the planet’s top 17 most biologically diverse nations. The nation’s drastic geographic and climatic variations have led to evolution of thousands of species of flora and fauna, most of which thrive in habitats protected by the State and by private organizations. Despite its tiny size, Ecuador is home to rain forests, jungles, mountains, islands, deserts, valleys, and snowcapped peaks. One of its main attractions is the Galapagos Archipelago and its marine reserve, which contain endemic species unique to the area.

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Flora

Ecuador is home to ten percent of the world’s plant species, the majority of which grow in the northeastern Amazon, where an estimated 10,000 species thrive. The diversity of the climate here has given rise to more than 25,000 species of trees. Moreover, the Andes is home to an estimated 8,200 plant and vegetable species. In the orchid family alone, 2,725 species have been identified in the area. In the Galapagos, there are about 600 native species and 250 more which were introduced by man. Three of the twelve key biodiversity zones identified by the naturalist Norman Myers can be found on the Ecuadorian mainland.

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Fauna

Ecuador is home to 8 percent of the world’s animal species and 18 percent of the planet’s birds. Around 3,800 species of vertebrates have been identified in Ecuador as well as 1,550 species of mammals, 350 reptile species, 375 species of amphibians, 800 fresh water fish species, and 450 salt water fish species. Ecuador is also home to 15 percent of the world’s endemic bird species. Moreover, there are more than a million species of insects and 4,500 species of butterflies that live in Ecuador.


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Ecosystems

The ecosystems which exist in the country go from sea level to an altitude of around 6400 metres. Its total area is 14,583,227 hectares, including the highlands, the coast and the Amazon region. There are 46 ecosystems which are made up of paramo, woods, valleys and the Pacific Ocean, located in different climate zones. One of the ecosystems which is richest in biodiversity is the tropical rain forest, which large trees of different and numerous species and an abundance of plants, flowers, mammals, reptiles, birds, invertebrates, fish and amphibians.

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Natural Parks and Reserves

There are 10 national parks, 14 natural reserves, a wild life refuge and a recreation area which are considered natural heritage and protected by the State. They cover an area of around 4,669,871 hectares of land and 14,110,000 of water, divided into four regions. The biodiversity is the main wealth of these areas, although there are also a number of communities in the urban sector as well as indigenous and country people in the rural area.

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| Introduction | Ecuador Flora | Ecuador Fauna |
| Ecosystems of Ecuador | Ecuador National Parks & Reserves |

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