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Ecuador

The Republic of Ecuador, located between Peru and Colombia in South America, has a total area of 283,561 square kilometers and is one of the most megadiverse countries in the world. Ecuador’s size and many distinctive microclimates allow for a large abundance of plants and animals and give this country an enormous biological diversity. This, as well as the country’s high precipitations and uniform temperatures, have made Ecuador one of the seventeen most megadiverse countries in the world, according to the United Nations Environmental Program. Ecuador is divided into three continental regions: the coast, the highlands, and the Amazon; as well as an insular region, the Columbus Archipelago, better known as the Galapagos Islands, the location where Charles Darwin developed his scientific theory of evolution.

Two important highly diverse zones can be highlighted in Ecuador: the Andes Mountain Range and the Galapagos Islands. The former is characterized primarily by diverse ecological zones differentiated by varying altitudinal levels and special microclimates on the slopes of the Andes. These allow for the formation of areas of high levels of flora and fauna diversity. The latter is composed of thirteen large islands with an area greater than ten km2, five medium sized islands with an area between one and ten km2, and 215 small-sized islets, in addition to several rocky outcrops of only a few square meters distributed around the equator line. The islands’ remoteness constitutes one of its key distinguishing features because it has allowed for the evolution of distinctive and unique species. These served as the foundation of Darwin’s studies and the theory of evolution.

Ecuador is home to close 22,000 species of plants, 1,600 species of birds, 4,500 species of butterflies, 405 species of reptiles, 440 species of amphibians, and 382 species of mammals.

The principal threats to biodiversity are related to the country’s economic development system in place since the 1970s. This has caused a reduction in the sustainable management of Nature and an over-industrialization and exploitation of natural resources.
 
 
	© Kevin Schafer / WWF
Dendrobates histrionicus - Harlequin poison frog. Choco Endemic Western Lowlands, Ecuador
© Kevin Schafer / WWF
 
	© Verónica Toral Granda / WWF Programa Galápagos
Lobos marinos en isla Isabela, Galápagos
© Verónica Toral Granda / WWF Programa Galápagos

WWF in Ecuador

WWF’s work in Ecuador is directed towards three impact areas: the Pacific Coast in Manta and Guayaquil; the Galapagos Eco-Region; and the Amazon around Putumayo and Pastaza.

Each one of our projects is aligned to the organization’s three central objectives: the conservation of the planet’s biological diversity; the sustainable use of renewable natural resources; and the reduction of contamination and unrestricted consumption.

Our work looks to establish an equilibrium and harmony between human beings and nature by means of sustainable practices that allow for communities’ long-term cohabitation and development in favor of future generations.