Wildlife conservation charity World Land Trust (WLT) is urgently raising funds to protect tropical forest in the Amazonian Andes of Ecuador, where hundreds of species are threatened by plans to build a road through virgin forest.
The Amazonian Andes is one of the richest habitats on Earth, where the wildlife of the Amazon basin meets the montane species of the Andes Mountain Range. However, only an estimated 25 per cent of the natural habitat in the tropical Andes remains intact.
As agricultural practices intensify across the South American continent, resulting in the clearance of rainforests, the remaining patches of natural habitat are increasingly isolated from each other, and often only remain secure in parks or reserves under national protection. Maintaining the connections between these areas is vital for allowing species such as Harpy Eagle and Spectacled Bear to move between forest areas and for connecting populations of less widely ranging species such as amphibians. These connections are also increasingly important in the face of climate change, as intact natural corridors will allow species to move in response to changing weather patterns and habitats.