Tumbesian-Andean Valleys Dry Forests

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Cayambe-Coca Nature Reserve, Ecuador.
© WWF-Canon / Kevin SCHAFER

About the Area

This Global ecoregion is made up of 6 terrestrial ecoregions: Tumbes-Piura dry forests; Ecuadorian dry forests; Patía Valley dry forests; Magdalena Valley dry forests; Cauca Valley dry forests; Marañón dry forests.

The Tumbesian-Andean dry forests are known for high levels of both regional and local endemism in plants and animals.

Instead of receiving steady rainfall year-round, the forests experience regular dry periods. As a result, many of the trees drop their leaves each year to avoid losing too much moisture.

The Ecuadorian Dry Forests ecoregion lies on the Pacific coast of Ecuador, sandwiched between the Pacific Ocean and the western foothills of the Andes. This ecoregion is a precious example of a vanishing forest type.

The rare and highly endangered yellow-eared parrot was rediscovered in Magdalena Valley dry forests after many years of being considered extinct.
Size:
103,000 sq. km (40,000 sq. miles)

Habitat type:
Tropical and Subtropical Dry Broadleaf Forests

Geographic Location:
Northwestern South America: Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru

Conservation Status:
Critical/Endangered

Local Species
Species include such flowering plants such as ébano (Zizyphus thyrisflora), Charan blanco (Pithecelobium spp.), and Cedrela (Cedrella spp.). Birds include Pacific parrotlet (Forpus coelestis), the endemic Watkins' antpitta (Grallaria watkinsi), and the endemic velvet-fronted euphonia (Euphonia concinna).

Tumbes-Piura dry forests are filled year-round with a chorus of sounds from some 40 endemic bird species.

Featured Species

The Pacific parrotlet (Forpus coelestis)

The Celestial or Pacific parrotlet’s range is Southern Ecuador and Northern Peru. It is a very tiny bird and on an average is 10-11 cm (4-4.5 in) long. It has blue on the wings as well as on the rump and a blue streak behind the eye. It feeds on grass seeds and berries.

They are masters at adapting to humans, making their nests in holes in any tall structure, including fence posts, telephone poles, and electricity towers.

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Threats
Logging, agricultural expansion, burning, and overgrazing present severe threats. Other threats include hunting, invasive species (including grasses), and increasing human settlement. Oil drilling and extraction cause pollution around the Tatacoa Desert. The beauty and biodiversity of the Cauca Valley have attracted humans for centuries. The landscape is now dominated by crops of coffee, maize, bananas, sugarcane, cassava, citrus fruits, and avocados.
WWF’s work
With support from USAID-Peru, WWF is currently working to promote forest sector modernization through a major project entitled CEDEFOR-Peru (Centro de Desarrollo Forestal en Peru), which aims to promote sustainable forest management and voluntary forest certification through technical assistance and capacity building.

WWF Peru Programme Office also has 2 other special projects, the Von Humboldt-Aguaytia Pilot Project and the Alternative Development Project, which aim to conserve Peru's biodiversity by promoting sustainable forest management as an alternative to illicit production of coca and illegal logging.

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