RI 03 ECUADOR
Serranías Cofán - Bermejo, Sinangoe
Following the equator westward from the Amazon basin you meet the Andes foothills, holding some of the most diverse regions in the world. Wet winds from the west discharge massive thunderstorms, forming white water rivers that carve deep gorges and create an incredible astonishing landscape full of life and reminders of a living and growing mountain range.
These are the Serranías Cofán, rising up from the Amazonian lowlands in a complex tangle of topography and biodiversity. Its transitional forests, climate and geology caught our attention, and has allowed unique biological communities to thrive and create hundreds of endemic species and taxa undescribed to science. In a day any researcher can start and end their day in completely different bioregions.
A big threat was added to this region in August 200 with a new highway splitting the region between Bermejo and Sinangoe. This allowed colonization to enter the region, and bringing with it forest clearing and logging. Our explorations, collections, and recommendations for action were all spurred on by the recognition that some of these forests are months away from destruction.
Photo by Roy Toft