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Williams College

Publication Date

Spring 2006

Program Name

Ecuador: Comparative Ecology and Conservation


This study addresses the endangered wax palm species, Ceroxylum alpinum, in the Ecuadorian cloud forest zone of Intag. Attention has recently arisen regarding this plant because the yellow-eared parrot, Ognorhynchus icterotis, which depends on it for food and nesting, is in critical danger of extinction. Much of this attention has targeted the use of wax palm fronds on Palm Sunday, but this investigation shows that this is only one of the many threats to the palm. Environmentalists in Intag are currently undertaking reforestation projects in community reserves to save the palm, but little is known about its development. This study seeks to learn about the communities’ knowledge about and relations with the palm and the conditions of the palm’s natural habitat. It uses this information to provide the foundation for continuing studies of the reforestation projects so that the wax palm populations can be saved.


Environmental Sciences | Natural Resources and Conservation


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