The Cinereous Conebill, Conirostrum cinereum, found in Quito, Ecuador, is a bird that can still be seen in city parks. It feeds on fruits and seeds and transports them throughout the highlands dispersing them and promoting the natural dynamics of the Andean ecosystems.
The Andean Marsupial Tree Frog’s, Gastrotheca riobambae, habitat is in the inter-Andean valleys and plateaus in Ecuador. The female keeps the fertilized eggs in a marsupial pouch on the males back. Once ready, the tadpoles (or uilli-uillis as the locals would say) are left in puddles. This endemic frog has been an element of Andean culture for the past 2,500 years. Unfortunately, this species is endangered due to loss of habitat and pet trade.
The Guayaquil Macaw, Ara ambiguus guayaquilensis, exists solely in Ecuador’s northern Esmeraldas, in the Cotacachi-Cayapas Mountians reaching the southern ridge of Colonche Chongón. This endemic species is critically endangered and faces the risk of immediate extinction.
The Black Caiman, Melanosuchus niger, is one of the largest predators in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Black Caimans live in and around lakes, rivers, and tributaries where it feeds mainly on fish, but their diet also includes turtles, birds and mammals. It is seriously threatened by the demand for its meat and leather.
The Yellow-footed Tortoise, Geochelone denticulate, is found throughout the Amazon basin. The Yellow-footed Tortoise cannot swim or float for any long period of time and therefore spends much of it’s time foraging about the forest floor. This species is coveted for its meat and is quiet often subject pet traffic.
The Coral Snake, Micrurus surinamensis, are seen infrequently, usually living in swamps and feeding on other smaller snakes. They produce a neurotoxic venom which stops the function of the nervous system, and ultimately it’s preys breathing and heartbeat. Photographed in captivity.
The Andean Tapir, Tapirus pinchaque, is one of the world's most threatened mammals. This herbivore has disappeared from areas where they once lived only a few decades ago. They are now extinct in the western foothills of Ecuador due to habitat destruction and hunting. There is a high demand for Tapir, for not only consumption, but also for its body parts used in traditional medicine.
The Poeppig's Woolly Monkey, Lagothrix poeppigii, lives in the forests of the western Amazon. Primates are intensely hunted for their meat, and Woolly Monkeys are extremely desirable. The Poeppig's Woolly Monkey populations are severely fragmented and there are places where they are now extinct.
The Red Howler Monkey, Alouatta seniculus, is exclusively herbivorous, so it’s stomach is complex. It owes its name to the strong morning and evening howls that are heard several kilometers away through dense rainforest. This sound comes from a swelling in the hyoid bone in Howler Monkey’s throat that acts as a sounding board. Their populations are dwindling throughout the Amazon.
The Ocelot, Leopardus pardalis, is a nocturnal cat living throughout the Amazon in solitude, except for mating. It is seriously threatened for its valuable skin, disappearing habitat and prey and intrusions into local settled areas.
The Pygmy Marmoset, Callithrix pygmaea, is diurnal and lives in the rainforest understory as the world's smallest monkey. It is found near streams that is partially hidden by vegetation and can go relatively unnoticed, however habitat loss, destruction and pet trade threaten them.
The Sechura Zorro Fox, Pseudalopex sechurae, lives in the dry forests of coastal Ecuador and northern Peru. It is nocturnal and solitary. As an opportunistic carnivore, it occasionally attacks poultry, and seen as a nuisance. Their conservation is primarily threatened by habitat destruction.
The Amazon Leaf Frog, Cruziohyla craspedopus, is one of the most difficult tree frogs to see. Found in the canopy, they come down to the forest floor only to reproduce, using the same pools where peccaries (wild boar) cool in the mud.
The Napipiripri, Allobates zaparo, is a poisonous frog in the Ecuadorian Amazon rainforests. Its bright coloration is a warning as to the danger of toxic chemicals contained in this small ornate frog’s skin.
The Spectacled Owl, Pulsatrix perspicillata, rests perched on branches in the day and hunts at night throughout many regions of Ecuador. It is usually solitary, but does form breeding pairs. It is carnivorous and its prey includes insects, tree frogs, birds, mammals and mangrove crabs.