Empower Ecuadorian Communities through Bird Watching
Organized by: New World Birding
New project added in the critically endangered Ecuadorian coastal forests!
February 14, 2016
ABOUT THE PROJECT
This year I will be travelling to Ecuador to help local communities in the jungles of the Amazon rainforest and Andes mountains promote homegrown ecotourism through bird watching. Ecotourism offers environmentally sustainable income to locals, creating an alternative to clear cutting of the rainforest for farming and oil drilling. This project is 100% volunteer-based, with your help we can make this campaign a success and create the relationships necessary for future collaborations.
Ecuador is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world, boasting a bird list of approximately 1,600 species, which attracts bird watchers (birders) from all over the world.
I am donating my skill set as an ornithologist and birding tour guide (New World Birding) to Napo River communities in the Amazon, The Los Cedros Reserve in the Andes, and the Jacama-Coaque Reserve on the Pacific Coast. With their help, I will be creating a checklist of the bird species present in these areas, and uploading the checklists onto eBird, a public database utilized by birdwatchers from all over the world. This kind of list helps attract international birders into these locales, increasing ecotourism and sustainable income for locals in these communities.
Additionally, an increase in eco-tourism would help ensure the protection of forests and habitat that are utilized by thousands of species of birds in Ecuador. Habitat loss is one the major threats to bird populations today.
The communities I will be volunteering in are Spanish speaking. To prepare for this, I will begin by taking a Spanish language course in Quito (capital city), in an Ecuadorian-run immersion school.
WHERE I WILL BE VOLUNTEERING
Los Cedros Reserve: a non-profit run biological reserve in the cloud forest of the Andes Mountains.
Llanchama Community: a small Napo River Community trying to develop ecotourism in the Amazon Rainforest. This community is facing pressure from oil drilling and deforestation.
Jacama-Coaque Reserve: a non-profit run biological reserve in the critically endangered coastal forests of Ecuador. This area has faced signficant deforestation.
BREAKDOWN OF FUNDRAISING GOAL
$750: For the Los Cedros Reserve in the Andes Mountains, Llanchama (Napo River) Community in the Amazon, and the Jacama-Coaque Reserve on the Pacific Coast. Local Ecuadorian guides will be assisting me in my birding endeavor, part of this amount will go towards them. The other part will go directly to Llanchama and Los Cedros, who are providing me with food and housing during my stay.
$600: For Lucia's Family, a local family in Quito, Ecuador. I will be staying with this family for 5 weeks while taking language immersion classes. They will be providing me with food and housing while I am in Quito.
$660: For the Cristobal Colon School. This is an Ecuadorian founded language immersion school, that only employs local workers.
$130: Round trip travel expenses from Quito to all volunteer projects. This includes cars/trucks, buses, and boats.
$820: Round trip airfare from Rochester, New York to Quito, Ecuador (plus taxi from the airport).
$150: To cover the fees for the crew that helped shoot and edit the CrowdRise video.
Thank you for your help in funding this project! Please let me know if you plan to be in Ecuador and would like to go bird watching.