Biodiversity Project

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We are in our fourteenth year of study in Ecuador documenting the incredible diversity of life  in fragile and imperiled ecosystems. Our goals include discovering new species, understanding patterns of biodiversity, and providing sound management recommendations to save wild animals and places. So far, we have recorded over 10,000 animals in these rainforests, taken some 48,000 “keeper” photographs and discovered over 30 species previously unknown to science. Read on with the links to your right to find out more, and about how you can help do even more!


Ecuador is home to the rare and elusive Onychophorans, an early offshoot of the lineage that led to the arthropods and water bears.

Our expeditions take place on both sides of the Andes mountains in both Amazonian and coastal rainforests. In the spring we will work at Lalo Loor Reserve and Jama Coaque Reserve. The coast of Ecuador, holds some of the most unique and amazing biodiversity in the world. Our team works a 10+ mile transect going from tropical dry forest, through humid forest (a type of rainforest) and even cloudforest. We will be determining patterns of biodiversity, discovering new species, and figuring out what can be done to save these fragile ecosystems.

Find out more about our work in our report of initial findings, available in English (pdf) and Spanish (pdf), and a publication in Spanish of findings from our first site here (pdf).

For its size, Ecuador is the most biodiverse country on earth. It holds about 8% of all the species of amphibians on Earth and 16% of bird species–all in a country about the size of Arizona!

Many tropical ecosystems are under dire peril–our study regions in western Ecuador are over 95% deforested.

You can help with this important work

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