Ecuador's Bio-diversity

Because of Ecuador's very particular location and geography, which give way to 46 different ecosystems in the country, including tropical lowland rainforests, dry tropical forests, tropical cloud forests, moorlands, and mangrove swamps, its bio-diversity is among the largest in the world, and can be observed in national parks and reserves, and through ecotourism.


Just to show this, here are some of Ecuador’s bio-diversity numbers:


More than 16,000 species of plants (10% of the world’s total and six times what Germany has), 4,100 of which are endemic to the country.


1,600 bird species on the mainland (a world record per square meter), including 132 species of hummingbirds, and 38 more endemic to the Galapagos Islands (15% of the worlds’ known species of birds, and double the number found in the whole European continent), make of Ecuador one of the worlds' best birding destinations.


4,500 types of butterflies, (23% of the world’s total number of butterfly species).


More than 3,000 species of orchids.


350 species of reptiles, 400 species of amphibians one hectare of the tropical rainforest can contain as many frog species as are present in all of North America), 210 species of snakes, ranging in size from 16cm up to 6m in length (the gigantic anaconda).


The fresh waters of the Amazon Basin are home to over 800 species of fish, including electric eels and piranhas.


In the most bio-diverse areas of the Ecuadorean jungle, one acre may contain up to 70,000 species of insects  (one tree can contain more species of ants than are found in the entire British Isles combined).


An estimated 324 species of mammals are known to live in Ecuador, including jaguars, pumas, ocelots, wild boars, tapirs, spectacled bears, peccaries, deer, fresh water dolphins, manatees, armadillos, and 16 species of new world monkeys; about 40% of the mammal species in Ecuador are bats.


The Amazon Rainforest is by far the most bio-diverse area in Ecuador, with more than 800 species of birds, 2,500 species of insects, and 450 species of endemic flora. Thus the large number of national parks and reserves declared in the region, covering 33% of its total area. Even though Ecuadorian Amazon’s surface accounts for just two percent of the whole Amazon basin, it hosts one third of all the bird species in the entire Amazon, and 10% of all plant species on earth.


Sangay National Park and the Galapagos National Park and Marine reserve have been declared UNESCO World Natural Heritage Sites.