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Illinois Wesleyan University

Publication Date

Fall 2011

Program Name

Ecuador: Comparative Ecology and Conservation


Through the recent years, the Cuenca-Molleturo-Naranjal highway that cuts through the Cajas national park has been the object of much environmental research. In particular, the effects of the highway on the territorial distribution of the local avifauna—that includes many endemic and endangered species—has been a very important subject of study for the conservationists and the park managers. The following study is supplementary to the work of the University of Azuay and the University of Stoneybrook in New York. Here, we analyze how the highway may influence the sex ratios of one of the most commonly found specie—Phrygilus unicolor. Using observations gathered using a point-transect method, gathered from ­­­18 park locations, we observed these birds and their respective sexes. The results do not permit us to make any conclusions about the natural sex ratios in Phrygilus unicolor, but the evidence indicates that territories near the Cuenca-Molleturo-Naranjal highway support an equal balance of sexes, while zones farther from the highway have a greater predominance of males.


Ecology and Evolutionary Biology | Natural Resources and Conservation


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