Navigation Links
Scientists identify Ecuador's Yasuni National Park as one of most biodiverse places on earth
Date:1/19/2010

AUSTIN, TexasA team of scientists has documented that Yasun National Park, in the core of the Ecuadorian Amazon, shatters world records for a wide array of plant and animal groups, from amphibians to trees to insects.

The authors also conclude that proposed oil development projects represent the greatest threat to Yasun and its biodiversity.

"This study demonstrates that Yasun is the most diverse area in South America, and possibly the world," said Dr. Peter English of The University of Texas at Austin. "Amphibians, birds, mammals and vascular plants all reach maximum diversity in Yasun."

The study is published in the open-access scientific journal PLoS ONE.

"We have so far documented 596 bird species occurring in Yasuni," said English, a bird specialist. "That's incredible diversity to find in just one corner of the Amazon rainforest and rivals any other spot on the planet."

Other specialists joined in to give the first complete picture of the extraordinary diversity found in Yasun National Park.

"The 150 amphibian species documented to date throughout Yasun is a world record for an area of this size," said Shawn McCracken of Texas State University. "There are more species of frogs and toads within Yasun than are native to the United States and Canada combined."

The scientists also confirmed that an average upland hectare (2.47 acres) in Yasun contains more tree species, 655, than are native to the continental United States and Canada combined. The number of tree species rises to more than 1,100 for an area of 25 hectares.

"In just one hectare in Yasun, there are more tree, shrub and liana (woody vines) species than anywhere else in the world," said Gorky Villa, an Ecuadorian botanist working with both the Smithsonian Institution and Finding Species.

Perhaps the most impressive statistic of all is that a single hectare of forest in Yasun is projected to contain 100,000 insect species. According to eminent entomologist Dr. Terry Erwin, that is the highest estimated diversity per unit area in the world for any plant or animal group.

"One of our most important findings about Yasun is that small areas of forest harbor extremely high numbers of animals and plants," said lead author Margot Bass, president of Finding Species, a non-profit with offices in Maryland and Quito, Ecuador. "Yasun is probably unmatched by any other park in the world for total numbers of species."

The extraordinary diversity of Yasun is best exemplified at the 1,600-acre Tiputini Biodiversity Station on the northern edge of the park.

"The Tiputini Biodiversity Station is home to 247 amphibian and reptile species, 550 bird species and around 200 mammal species," said Dr. Kelly Swing of the University of San Francisco in Quito, Ecuador.

"What makes Yasun especially important is its potential to sustain this extraordinary biodiversity in the long term," said Dr. Matt Finer of Save America's Forests. "For example, the Yasun region is predicted to maintain wet, rainforest conditions as climate change-induced drought intensifies in the eastern Amazon."

The paper concludes with a number of science-based policy recommendations. One key recommendation is a moratorium on new oil exploration or development projects within the park, particularly in the remote and relatively intactbut oil richnortheast corner that contains oil blocks 31 and ITT.

The Ecuadorian government is promoting a revolutionary plan, known as the Yasun-ITT Initiative, which would leave the park's largest oil reserves in the ITT block permanently under the ground. A lack of funding commitments, however, now threatens the proposal.

"The Yasun-ITT Initiative urgently needs international funders to step up and make it a success, or else more drilling in the core of Yasun may become a tragic reality," concluded Finer.


'/>"/>

Contact: Peter English
english@austin.utexas.edu
512-627-7517
University of Texas at Austin
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. UK scientists working to help cut ID theft
2. Scientists show that mitochondrial DNA variants are linked to risk factors for type 2 diabetes
3. Comet probes reveal evidence of origin of life, scientists claim
4. Scientists link fragile X tremor/ataxia syndrome to binding protein in RNA
5. Male elephants get photo IDs from scientists
6. Scientists retrace evolution with first atomic structure of an ancient protein
7. Muscle mass: Scientists identify novel mode of transcriptional regulation during myogenesis
8. Carnegie Mellon scientists develop nanogels that enable controlled delivery of carbohydrate drugs
9. Clemson scientists shed light on molecules in living cells
10. Scientists tackle mystery mountain illness
11. T. rex quicker than Becks, say scientists
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Scientists identify Ecuador's Yasuni National Park as one of most biodiverse places on earth
(Date:4/14/2016)... , April 14, 2016 ... Malware Detection, today announced the appointment of Eyal ... new role. Goldwerger,s leadership appointment comes at ... heels of the deployment of its platform at several ... biometric technology, which discerns unique cognitive and physiological factors, ...
(Date:3/29/2016)... , March 29, 2016 LegacyXChange, ... LegacyXChange "LEGX" and SelectaDNA/CSI Protect are pleased to announce ... used in a variety of writing instruments, ensuring athletes ... originally created collectibles from athletes on LegacyXChange will be ... of the DNA. Bill Bollander , ...
(Date:3/21/2016)... , March 22, 2016 ... recognition with passcodes for superior security   ... a leading provider of secure digital communications services, today ... biometric technology and offer enterprise customers, particularly those in ... facial recognition and voice authentication within a mobile app, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/27/2016)... ... April 27, 2016 , ... ... pleased to announce the appointment of John Tilton as Chief Commercial Officer.  Mr. ... and one of the founding commercial leaders responsible for the commercialization of multiple ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... ... April 27, 2016 , ... A compact PET scanner ... and MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) in existing third-party MRI systems. PET and MRI ... small animal subjects. Simultaneous PET/MRI imaging offers a solution to many challenges that ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... , April 27, 2016 MedDay, a ... today announces the appointment of Catherine Moukheibir as Chairman of ... previous Chairman, Jean Jacques Garaud , who contributed to ... is effective immediately. Catherine started her career in ... and London .  She held C-Suite ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... Redwood City, CA (PRWEB) , ... April 26, ... ... company for healthcare, today announced that Ardy Arianpour has joined the company as ... 14 years of experience bringing innovative genomic technologies to market, was most recently ...
Breaking Biology Technology: