LOCATION: Ayampe, western Ecuador
One of the world's rarest hummingbirds is the tiny Esmeraldas Woodstar, measuring in, even with a fairly long tail, at barely 2 1/2 inches! This diminutive "estrellita" (or little star) is found only in a very small area of western Ecuador, where it is gravely threatened by the conversion of its native forest habitat to grazing land. No one can really be sure how many are left, though it could be as few as 1,000 individuals, perhaps many fewer.
The Woodstar was little known until a few years ago, when researchers working for our Ecuadorian partner discovered its primary nesting areas along streams on the coastal cordillera near what was until recently the sleepy village of Ayampe. They also discovered that the former "sleepy" village was becoming a magnet for beach-loving tourists. Much woodland has already been destroyed for beach resorts.
With the support of local communities, eager to protect as much native forests as possible, we need to move quickly before second homes and beachfront development take over entirely, and urgently require $200,000 to make critical land purchases. This bird can be saved, but we'll need to move fast!
Please help save this biodiversity jewel.
Map of the Project Area
View WLT-US 2013 conservation projects in a larger map