Fundación Jocotoco, an Ecuadorian non-governmental organization, was created in 1998 to protect areas of critical importance for the conservation of endemic and threatened bird species in Ecuador that are not under the protection of the National System of Protected Areas (SNAP). Jocotoco achieves this goal by acquiring and managing land as biological reserves.
Fundacion Jocotoco was founded to protect the habitat of the local species, Jocotoco Antpitta. The name "Jocotoco" is an onomatopoeia used by local farmers who recognized this species by its song.
So far, the foundation has established a network of twelve reserves, which together protect around 52,000 acres (21,044 hectares). Although these reserves were created to protect the habitats of threatened birds, they also protect flora and fauna associated with these habitats. Jocotoco has established important relationships with the local communities.
The Jocotoco reserves are home to more than 900 species of birds, of which more than 50 are threatened or near-threatened with extinction on a global scale, and more than 100 species are regional endemics or species of restricted geographical distribution.
In addition, the reserves maintain populations of at least 200 species of amphibians and reptiles, many of which are threatened and range-restricted, and several newly discovered. They also protect large and rare mammals such as the Spectacled Bear, Mountain Tapir, Chocó Tapir, Puma and Jaguar.
Dr. Michaël Moens, the Conservation Director of the Jocotoco Foundation, has a PhD in Biology and a Master in Biodiversity in Tropical Areas and its Conservation. He manages the research and conservation programs in the Jocotoco reserves. For the past seven years, he has studied birds within various ecosystems of Ecuador. He has also investigated the impacts of avian malaria on birds in Ecuador and French Guiana, particularly hummingbirds.
Field & Production Coordinators
Efraín Cepeda Duran is director of the Jocotoco Foundation’s Northern Reserves. “I joined the Foundation in 2007 as a Polylepis Reforestation assistant in the Yanacocha reserve. This forest is truly spectacular due to its scenic beauty and the multiple functions it fulfills within the ecosystem. I believe that Andean cloud forests are a priority for the conservation of biodiversity in the world. These ecosystems located in Ecuador maintain the highest rates of plant endemism in the country.”
Rene Rivas has been Forest Engineer Coordinator for Jocotoco’s Reforestation at the National level since 2006. He is also head of the Foundation’s Geographical Information System. “It has been a challenge to recover and restore the ecosystem that had previously harbored innumerable wildlife later displaced by livestock grazing. This is how our work began 10 years ago - with the planting of native species in the Yanacocha Reserve - in order to recover these areas and return them to the paradise they once were for the fauna and flora.”
Ximena Cueva. “I am in charge of the placement and revision of Trap Cameras inside the Reserve where you can observe the Polylepis. It is one of my favorite places to have contact with nature and to carry out my work. I also enjoy photographing the different species of flora in the reserve, as well as fungi, lichens and bryophytes.”