Our over-arching goal is to empower local residents to slow and reverse the tide of habitat and species loss in the Tropical Andes. To do so, we focus on capacity building, scientific research, environmental education, community development, and the formation and empowerment of...Read More
FCAT is a non-profit organization based in Ecuador and composed of local residents. Our mission is to achieve lasting conservation of biodiversity in the areas where we work. Leadership by community members is fundamental to our efforts. Our approach combines solutions-based scientific research with capacity building, education, and sustainable development.Read More
We are happy to report the progress on the following activities to accomplish our goals in scientific research, environmental education, and community development:
1. COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
Ecotourism– With the participation of 35 people from 17 communities, we hosted intensive ecotourism training workshops. The first phase was located at la Y de la Laguna where we gave presentations on techniques to develop ecotourism, and afterwards, participants traveled to the Yunguilla community reserve to witness a successful model of community development firsthand.
Management plans– We also hosted workshops for local farmers to help development management plans at the farm scale. The workshops lasted 3 days, where the farmers received training on farm management techniques. The participants also visited nearby Bilsa Biological Reserve to observe our emblematic species, the long-wattled umbrellabird. The site of this magnificent species inspired the workshop participants to continue conserving forests on their farmland.
Home gardens– Our objectives in our home garden project were to: (1) improve the nutritional health of local residents, especially children, and (2) develop the production of vegetables and other plants to increase levels of economic income.
2. SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH
Forest fragments– In late 2014 – early 2015, we formed a team of 18 researchers, including 6 international scientists, 6 local residents, and 6 Ecuatorian students, and sampled 31 forest fragments in the Mache-Chindul Reserve. We sampled 4 days in each fragment through a period of 7 months, working in the communities of La Yecita, Santa Isabel, La Y, Herrera, San Andrés, Limón, Viche, and Taguales to quantify the abundance and richness of various taxonomic groups. Among those were: (1) Ecuadorian capuchin monkey, a critically endangered species, (2) the banded ground cuckoo and brown wood rail, both endangered species, (3) understory birds and their parasites, (4) nocturnal birds, (5) terrestrial mammals using camera traps, (6) canopy birds and arboreal mammals, (7) amphibians, (8) beetles, (9) Euglossine bees, (10) soil bacteria, (11) palm trees, (12) gene flow between forest fragments via pollen and seed dispersal. We shared our results with local residents, the Ministry of the Environment, general public, and scientific community.
3. ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION – ENVIRONMENTAL FAIR
Teacher workshops. School visits– We hosted 9 workshops to train teachers in 17 communities on the importance of conservation of forest fragments. We also used this time to train the teachers on how to make clothes out of recycled materials, which they then taught to their students for a competition in the environmental fair (see below).
Environmental fair– The purpose of the environmental fair is to develop environmental and conservation awareness. During the fair, we host live musical bands, theater groups, and play environmentally-themed films. We have a beauty pageant with dresses made out of recycled material, an environmentally-themed painting and drawing competition for children, and a cooking competition for local, healthy dishes. We also give demonstrations on composting and reforestation, hold a competition for local artisanal goods, host forums for exchanging personal experiences with traditional culture, and teach respectful environmental practices.
Reforestation– We created a nursery in the community Hererra, where we raised native tree species to be used to increase the amount of forested area in the region. We then distributed the tree saplings to local residents. We estimate that this project allowed 100 landowners to plant 2 hectares of forest on their land, equally approximately 200 hectares of habitat for Neotropical migratory birds and other animals.
AWARD FROM THE NETWORK OF ECUADORIAN ORNITHOLOGISTS
The fourth national conference of Ecuadorian Ornitholgists (IV REO) was hosted in the Tulcán, Carchi in August 2014. The purpose of the meeting is to integrate scientific research and conservation of Ecuador’s birds. Both Domingo Cabrerra and Jorge Olivo of FCAT participated. At the end of the conference, Domingo was awarded with a prize for best presenter. Congratulations!
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC SOCIETY AWARD
Congratulations to Mónica González, Executive Director of FCAT, for winning the National Geographic Society’s away for Leaders in Conservation. Watch the video below and follow the links for more information.
FCAT’s Mónica Gonzalez has received a grant from the Scott Neotropical Fund through Cleveland Metro Parks. Congratulations Mónica!
Read Here to learn more.Read More
Congratulations to Director Mónica Gonzalez for winning the “Green Oscar” for her work with FCAT on the conservation of the umbrella birds!
Click here to see a short film on Monica’s work narrated by Sir David Attenborough.