Ecuador is home to 1,600 species of birds — twice the number in all of North America. Artist and naturalist Paul Greenfield, a long-time resident of Ecuador, has helped create conservation reserves, large and small. He feels that smaller reserves may have the best chance for long-term success. Small reserves, such as the Mindo Cloud Forest Reserve — where the photo of this Toucan Barbet was taken — encourage local communities to play a full role in preserving and restoring habitat, and enable farming to coexist with conservation. Ecotourism is win-win!
Ecuador’s Nature Reserves – Paul Greenfield’s Thoughts
Written by Bob Sundstrom
This is BirdNote.
[Toucan Barbets duetting, and Ecuadorian rainforest throughout]
The bird life of Ecuador ranks among the richest in the world. Just the size of Nevada, Ecuador is home to 1600 species of birds – that’s twice the number in all of North America. [Toucan Barbets duetting]
Can this splendid diversity be preserved? One to take up this challenge is artist and naturalist Paul Greenfield, a long-time resident of Ecuador. Greenfield has a unique knowledge of Ecuador’s birds. He painted each one of them for the first field guide to that country’s birds. The book put ecotourism in Ecuador on the map in a big way.
Greenfield has also helped create Ecuadorean conservation reserves, both large and small. He feels that smaller reserves of a few hundred acres may have the best chance for long-term success. Small reserves, such as the Mindo Cloud Forest Reserve, encourage local communities to play a full role in preserving and restoring habitat and enable farming to coexist with conservation.
As Greenfield says: “When you tie communities into knowing what ecotourism is about and they begin to understand that the area and the birds belong to them, it builds pride very quickly.” [Toucan Barbets duetting]
It’s a duet — like these Toucan Barbets we’re hearing — where each partner has an important role.
For BirdNote, I’m Mary McCann. [Toucan Barbets duetting]
Sounds provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Toucan Barbets 84096 recorded by Greg Budney; rainforest ambient in Ecuador 53347 recorded by Lewis Kibler.
BirdNote’s theme music was composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and John Kessler.
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Chris Peterson
© 2016 Tune In to Nature.org February 2014/2016/2017/2020 Narrator: Mary McCann