The endangered El Oro Parakeet lives in south-western Ecuador, in the provinces of Canar, Azuay, Loja and El Oro, with a geographical distribution of less than 750 square kilometers of tropical forest. Since 2001 LPF has supported efforts to help the conservation of this species, which has included research and conservation work. Its biggest threat is habitat degradation.
Conservation status: Category EN (Endangered) in the Red List of the IUCN.
Wild population: less than 1.000, declining.
Captive population: Inexistent.
Acquire and use the knowledge to extend the geographical distribution and achieve the removal of the species from the category of risk in which it is found today.
Research on the reproduction of the species, installation and monitoring of nest-boxes, habitat restoration, and creation of an important extension of the Buenaventura Reserve. Follow-up research in order to identify other subpopulations, investigate the degree of gene flow between them and detect any possible genetic problem. The Buenaventura Reserve is approaching the capacity limit for the species.
Research reveals that the species reproduces cooperatively, so that only a third to half of adult birds breed, and do so with the assistance of other mature individuals. The Buenaventura Reserve shows two genetically distinct populations of birds, a genetic diversity to be protected. Mortality rates calculated for the last three years shows that it is highest for eggs (44%) than for the chicks (28%). It has been confirmed that although individuals may move between different forest fragments, their loyalty to a narrow altitudinal band limits dispersal and gene flow. So the project is now focused on establishing an ecological corridor to overcome this limit. The project has increased awareness within the local communities near Buenaventura, and the bird is the official mascot of the nearby city of Piñas.
Ecuadorian Museum of Natural Sciences
University of Freiburg
Other organizations involved
Ecuadorian Department of Environment
Funds since 2002: 417,103 $