[Screenshots from Armonía Ecuador a Finding Species project.]

Ecuador, diversity and conservation 

Ecuador biodiversity is fabulous between the various climatic environements this (relatively) small country has a lot of different species many of then endemic (that is that they only exist in one place in the world) and not only in the famous Galapagos Islands. 

Like everywhere in the world, this biodiversity is menaced. I wont make a long speech about it, but if you’re curious about menaced species there is nothing better than the IUCN Red List. You can find these various list above. 

These list are only that, list of animals names, their latin names and the state of menace they are facing. You can always google the names and find interesting species you probably didn’t knew exist let alone were menaced. 

- Red List Methodology: English / Spanish (PDF-preface of the Spain edition)

- Libro Rojo de los mammiferos del Ecuador (Spanish)

- Libro Rojo de las plantas endémicas del Ecuador (PDF-Spanish)

- Birds in Ecuador - Conservation (ñ/en general but extremely complete site about bird-watching, includes the state of conservation of endemic species of birds and general overview of birds in the country)

- Zoologia PUCE - ReptiliaWeb/AmphibiaWeb ( Zoology site of the Catholic University of Ecuador includs images of lots of species)

I hope it will be useful for you or at least interesting. I always find fascinating all the lifeforms we share our planet with. I hope you all have a great rest of the week, 

Saludos :)!

That time I went to the Galápagos...

..and I was surrounded by my one of my favorite animals the Marine iguana (Amblyrhynchus cristatus). I went to the Galápagos Islands as part of my tropical semester to Ecuador. I probably took over 1000 photos of just the iguanas alone! I think it is the most amazing place on this planet! Since I have left I can not stop thinking about it. I plan on going back in a year and this time I am taking my husband! My dream is that one day I will be able to assist with research on the marine and land iguanas and help with conservation in the Galápagos Islands.



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the wwf’s living planet report 2014, which discovered that we’ve lost half of all the world’s wildlife in the past fourty years, showed more specifically that the population of common dormice dropped by 43 percent between 1993 and 2010.

not only are dormice vulnerable to habitat loss, but they’re hesitant to cross open fields, and the grubbing out of hedgerows in recent decades has removed the wildlife corridors between woods that has allowed the dormice to move more freely to new habitat.  

dormice have very specialized diets of berries and nuts, and with less habitat they are unable to seek out enough food to fatten up before their six month hibernation (which was featured in these two posts). 

photos by (click pic) andrea zampatti, richard austin xmiroslav hlávkobengt lundberg, david kjaer and ingo ardnt

What an amazing find!

A female Sundarbans River Terrapin (Batagur baska) was discovered in a family pond in Bangladesh. The turtle had been kept as a pet for 16 years. After much discussion, the turtle’s owner agreed to sell the critically endangered turtle to the team’s breeding colony, adding a seventh female and diversifying the genetic base! In this touching photo, the previous owner says good-bye to her beloved pet.

You can read more about this exceptional story here:

Turtle Survival Alliance

This Kenyan teen has developed a brilliant way to stop elephant poachers 

Kenya’s elephants are in trouble. Mercy Sigey has something that can help.

With the help of her classmates, the 19-year-old freshman at Strathmore University in Nairobi City, Kenya developed a sensor to let park rangers know when poachers have entered a wildlife preserve. The result was shown at the United Nations Social Good Summit last month.

"Monumental" loss that motivated Sigey | Follow micdotcom


The UK Pavilion at the 2010 Shanghai World Expo: The Seed Cathedral

Theme - Better City, Better Life

"The UK pavilion at Expo 2010, colloquially known as the Seed Cathedral, was a sculpture structure built by a nine member conglomeration of British business and government resources directed by designer Thomas Heatherwick. It referenced the race to save seeds from round the world in banks, and housed 250,000 plant seeds at the end of 60,000 acrylic rods, held in place by geometrically-cut holes with the rods inserted therein.”


"The Seed Cathedral is 20 metres in height, formed from 60,000 slender transparent rods, each 7.5 metres long and each encasing one or more seeds at its tip. During the day, they act as optic fibres and draw daylight inwards to illuminate the interior. At night, light sources inside each rod allow the whole structure to glow. As the wind moves past, the building and its optic “hairs” gently move to create a dynamic effect.”

- Despoke.com

Images: Heatherwick Studio; REUTERS/Aly Song

#seed banks #art


september 22 is world rhino day, meant to raise awareness about the struggle faced by all five species of rhino, help curtail the supply of rhino horns, and highlight efforts to ensure the animal’s continued survival.  

one such effort involves a four man anti poaching team tasked with guarding the ol pejeta conservancy’s four remaining northern white rhinos. with only eight left, it is the world’s most endangered species. located in the laikipia district of kenya, ol pejeta conservancy is also the largest sanctuary for the black rhino.

the rise in asia’s middle class has meant that demand for rhino horn has soared, with prices on the black market exceeding that of gold and cocaine. with an increase in poaching in ol pejeta, the anti poaching team now provides twenty four hour armed protection for the rhinos, and has developed a close relationship with the animals.

poachers will track rhinos from helicopters, darting them from above and then hacking off the horn and part of the face with a chainsaw. the animals are often left to suffer and die. the rhinos seen here were found wandering in unimaginable pain, but remarkably survived thanks to timely veterinary supervision.

to protect the rhinos and deter poachers, veterinarians will remove much of the animal’s horn (as seen in the second last photo). the rhinos are anesthetized, and suffer no trauma. the horn is not like an elephant’s tusk, and will grow back in a few years.  

photos by brent stirton’s. see also: posts on the efforts of the lewa wildlife conservancy and the black rhino range expansion project 

Ranger Heroes: Stephen

Thank God for rangers! Poachers and corrupt politicians and Park staff are taking up too much of the headlines. Time to spotlight another one of the “good guys”!


Name: Stephen

Age: 26

Location: Segera Ranch in Kenya

What has been your most rewarding OR most difficult moment as a ranger?

Stephen: Being chased by a buffalo!

Where would you like to travel someday?

Stephen: USA, Texas or…

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Northern white rhino death leaves only six of the animals left alive

A rare northern white rhino has died in Kenya, a wildlife conservancy said on Saturday, leaving just six of the animals left alive and bringing the famed African species one step closer to extinction.

While there are thousands of southern white rhinos still roaming the plains of sub-Saharan Africa, decades of rampant poaching have drastically cut northern white rhino numbers.

Suni, a 34-year-old who was the first northern white rhino to be born in captivity, was found dead on Friday by rangers at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy, about 250 km north of Nairobi.

The conservancy said Suni was not poached, but the cause of his death was unclear. It added that he was one of the last two breeding males in the world as no northern white rhinos are believed to have survived in the wild.

"Consequently the species now stands at the brink of complete extinction, a sorry testament to the greed of the human race," the conservancy said in a statement.

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