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Middlebury College

Publication Date

Fall 2021

Program Name

Ecuador: Comparative Ecology and Conservation


Ecuador is rich in avifauna, and the Chocó bioregion of Northwestern Ecuador is a hotspot for bird endemism and diversity. However, many rare and beautiful species are threatened by human activities such as logging and mining. It is essential that communities are able to find alternative solutions that bring economic benefits and improve public health. Avitourism is an economically beneficial and environmentally friendly solution. This study examined avifaunal biodiversity in Villaflora and Manduriacu Reserve, a small town in the cloud forest of the Chocó region. Point counts on pre-existing trails were used to assess bird communities as well as search for uncommon species. A very high level of biodiversity was found in the region, as well as a number of rare and significant species for tourism. If the residents of Villaflora are interested in shifting to avitourism in place of resource extraction to increase income as well as create a stronger defense against mining companies, there is great potential for a successful ecotourism sector.


Biodiversity | Environmental Health and Protection | Environmental Policy | Latin American Studies | Natural Resources and Conservation | Ornithology | Tourism | Tourism and Travel


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