The marvelous shrub deserts and deciduous dry forests of the southwest, comprising the northern extent of the Tumbesian Center of Endemism, support a very high proportion of unique forms and comprise one of the most threatened habitats in South America. In stark contrast to this, tucked away in the nearby Andean foothills and equally threatened, is the southern extension of the humid Choco-type forest, where many foothill species typical of northwestern Ecuador reach their southern limits (often as distinct races) and some additional unique forms, such as El Oro Parakeet and Ecuadorian Tapaculo, have evolved. And to the east, in the higher mountains, pockets of biogeographically unique conditions have given rise to yet additional, very local endemics.
The recently described Jocotoco Antpitta has so far been found only within a narrow elevational zone along the humid, windswept slopes and ridges of extreme southern Ecuador and adjacent northern Peru. And the endemic Pale-headed Brush-Finch, thought to be extinct, was recently rediscovered in a small pocket of shrub in northwestern Loja.
This tour is designed to offer an in-depth sampling of specialties of the southwest while based where possible in the lovely Jocotoco Foundation Reserves, right in the heart of good birding.
Would you like to extend your Ecuador visit with a day or more of additional birding or cultural options with a local guide? Check out the various possibilities on our Ecuador: Add to Your Tour! page.
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