why does ecuador have the most endangered species

As of 2000, Ecuador s major environmental problems were erosion
in the highland areas; deforestation, especially in the Oriente; and
water pollution. The Ecuadoran Institute of Water Resources estimated
that the amount of arid land increased by 31. 5% between 1954 and 1979,
when 7. 5% of the coastal lowland and Sierra were classified as arid. Between 1981 and 1985, 340,000 hectares (840,000 acres) of land were
deforested annually. By the 1990s, Ecuador had lost over 30% of the
original mangrove area, which covered over 117,000 hectares. As of 1994, it was estimated that, at current deforestation rates,
coastal forests will be completely eliminated within 15 years and the
Amazon forests will be gone within 40 years. Traditional farming
practices have been blamed for most of these problems, but oil
development has also played a role in the clearing of forests. A program
for reforestation and maintenance of existing forests was initiated in
1979, but only 4,000 hectares (10,000 acres) were reforested annually
during the early 1980s.


Ecuador s principal environmental agency
is the Ministry of Natural Resources and Energy. Land erosion is
accelerated by deforestation. Flooding and desertification are related problems which have damaged or
eliminated valuable soil, particularly in the western coastal region. Water pollution is a problem due to the influx of domestic, industrial,
and agricultural contaminants. Ecuador s cities produce about 1. 2 million tons of solid waste
per year. The nation has 442 cu km of renewable water resources with 82%
used for agricultural purposes. Some 90% of all urban dwellers and 75%
of the rural population have access to pure drinking water. The expansion of Ecuador s population centers threatens its
wildlife. As of 2001, 28 species of mammals in a total of 302 are
currently endangered. Fifty-three of 1,388 breeding bird species and 12
of 380 reptile species are also endangered. Of the 19,000 plus
plant species in Ecuador, 642 are threatened with extinction. An
extensive wildlife protection system was established in 1970.


As of
2001, 42. 6% of Ecuador s total land area was protected. Endangered species on the Ecuadoran mainland include the tundra
peregrine falcon, yellow-tailed woolly monkey, five species of turtle
(green sea, hawksbill, olive ridley, leatherback, and South American
river), and three species of crocodile (spectacled caiman, black caiman,
and American). Endangered species in the Gal pagos Islands include the
dark-rumped petrel, Gal pagos dark-rumped petrel (a subspecies),
black petrel, African ass, two species of turtle (green sea and
hawksbill), and the Gal pagos giant tortoise and 11 of its
subspecies. A subspecies of Gal pagos giant tortoise is extinct,
and another may be. Darwin s Galapagos mouse, the Fernandina
Galapagos mouse, Charles Island tortoise, and the Duncan Island tortoise
have become extinct. Ecuador s natural attractions could lead to increased tourism,
benefiting the economy. However, environmental problems, including
further endangerment of native plants and animals, could be exacerbated
without careful management of the areas attractive to tourists.
Find out if there are any endangered species in your state, your country, island, etc.


Browse endangered species listings according to area on our planet using the selection box below. For a complete list of US endangered species, select United States below. Browse the different areas in the pulldown for other countries or specific US or Canadian states. For sea creatures and creatures found on islands in the oceans, we recommend browsing the list. Select an area: St. Helena St. Lucia St. Martin St. Vincent Select the species group: Note/Disclaimer: This list is made possible through a database keyword search/filtering process which may not be 100 accurate. Therefore, all endangered species of Ecuador may not be listed here. For a complete list of endangered species in South America, browse the endangered species list. This list combines species from several endangered species lists. For more information on what creatures are listed on this site, please visit our page.

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