NCI Local Partner FUNACE Conserves 10,000 Acres of Endangered Forest
|Several possibilities for the discovery of new plant species, some of which could have medicinal benefits for humans
NCI’s Ecuadorian partner organization, FUNACE (The Nature and Culture Ecuador Foundation), has purchased a total of nearly 10,000 acres to form the Cazaderos Natural Reserve in southwestern Ecuador. The reserve protects the most pristine Tumbesian dry forest in Ecuador, and forms a critical corridor between the La Ceiba Reserve, nearby community reserves, and the Biosphere Reserve of Northwestern Peru. This connectivity is important for the survival of endemic flora and fauna that live in this isolated and small area, which are currently threatened due to production of biofuels and other degradation activities. The many animals that live in this area include the Mantled Howler Monkey, Peccary, and Boa constrictor in addition to dear, pumas and many of the most threatened bird species of the region. According to the botanist Eduardo Cueva, there are several possibilities in this forest for discovery of new plant species, some of which could have medicinal benefits for humans. NCI has partnered with the San Diego Zoo’s Institute for Conservation Research here to gain a better understanding of the area’s biodiversity. The first rapid assessment of biodiversity is taking place this month and will be focused on birds, bats, reptiles and amphibians.
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