Cofán lands constitute some of the last solid habitats for the wildlife and plant wealth of northeastern Ecuador. Cofan Survival Fund has collaborated with scientists to document this incredible biodiversity.
The Cofan Survival Fund has hosted and played fundamental roles in Rapid Inventories of the biological and social resources in distinct regions of our territory. The inventories are led by elite teams of international scientists assembled by The Field Museum of Chicago.
The overall goal of these scientific expeditions is to provide the scientific evidence necessary for catalyzing conservation in threatened regions of high biological diversity and uniqueness. The rapid biological surveys:
(1) identify the important biological communities (both plant and animal) in the site or region of interest and;
(2) determine whether these communities are of outstanding quality and significance in a regional or global context.
During rapid social inventories, scientists and local communities collaborate to identify patterns of social organization and opportunities for capacity building and long-term participation in conservation. Once these rapid inventories have been completed (typically within a month), the teams relay the survey information to local and international decision makers who set priorities and guide conservation action in the host country.
Excitingly, they have found over 40 different species or genera new to science and over 25 different species or genera never before recorded in Ecuador. Scientists have also found critically endangered species, like the giant otter, manatee, spectacled bear and the mountain tapir.
Thanks to the work of dedicated conservation professionals, including Cofán, Ecuadorian and other nationalities, we have these detailed records of the incredible amount of biodiversity found in Cofán territories.
HIGHLIGHT: Watch Video from Rapid Inventory #20 in Cuyabeno-Güeppí!
To date, we have carried out four RBIs in four different regions of our territory. Click the image to view the detailed reports:
Cabeceras Cofanes-Chingual. October 2009
Ecosystem: two major river watersheds, highlands and Andean forest.
A towering, geologically complex, dynamic mountain range starting at 650 m to over 4,000 m.
Four fish species likely new to science.
Registration of one endangered species of bird (Bicolored Antpitta), four vulnerable species (Wattled Guan, Military Macaw, Coppery-chested Jacamar, and Masked Mountain-Tanager), and nine near-threatened species.
Populations of spectacled bear and mountain tapir, considered vulnerable or endangered and threatened with extinction.
Archeological evidence of early human settlements.
Cuyabeno-Güeppí. July 2008
Ecosystem: tropical forest and wetlands, rare blackwater lakes.
Estimated 3,000–4,000 species of plants in the region.
184 species of fish registered, three possibly new to science.
Black caiman, white caiman, yellow-footed tortoise, river turtle and tree boa all found, and all listed by the IUCN and CITES.
Estimated 550 species of bird.
Presence of giant river otters, a species considered endangered (INRENA, IUCN), critically endangered (Red List of mammals of Ecuador), and near extinction (CITES).
Cofán Dureno Territory. May 2007
Ecosystem: Amazon lowlands.
Largest remaining forest fragment in what was one of the richest natural areas in the world, now largely deforested.
One of the only surviving bamboo remnants in Ecuador, and 5–10 species of vascular plant potentially new to science.
One of the last refuges for the highest concentration of amphibians reported for the planet.
Cofán-Bermejo, Sinangoe. July-August 2001
Ecosystem: Amazonian forest and Andean forest.
800 species of plants identified, and an estimated regional flora containing 2,000 to 3,000 species.
42 species of large mammals registered during the inventory, eight of which are listed in CITES Appendix I (globally threatened species); 17 others are listed in Appendix II (potentially threatened). At least 12 primate species inhabit these forests, as do large populations of spectacled bear and lowland tapir. Possible new squirrel species.
700 species of bird estimated, one registered as new to Ecuador.