Endemic Animals of Ecuador








Marine Iguana
The Marine iguana (Amblyrhynchus cristatus) is a species of iguana found only on the Galápagos Islands (Ecuador). Unique among modern lizards, it is a marine reptile that has the ability to forage in the sea for algae, which makes up almost all of its diet. Marine iguanas are the only extant lizard that spends time in a marine environment. Large males are able to dive to find this food source, while females and smaller males feed during low tide ...
in the intertidal zone.
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Marine Iguana
Galápagos Penguin
The Galápagos penguin (Spheniscus mendiculus) is the only penguin found north of the equator. The cool waters of the Humboldt and Cromwell Currents allow it to survive despite the tropical latitude. The Galápagos penguin is one of the banded penguins, the other species of which live mostly on the coasts of Africa and mainland South America. It is one of the smallest species of penguin in the world. Because of their warm environment, Galápagos pe ...
nguins have developed techniques to stay cool. They live about 15 to 20 years, but due to predation, life expectancy of these adorable birds in the wild could be significantly reduced.
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Galápagos Penguin
Flightless Cormorant
The flightless cormorant (Nannopterum harrisi ), also known as the Galapagos cormorant, is a cormorant endemic to the Galapagos Islands, and an example of the highly unusual fauna there. It is unique in that it is the only known cormorant that has lost the ability to fly. It was placed in its own genus, Nannopterum, but then was later placed with most of the other cormorants in the genus Phalacrocorax. A 2014 study supported reclassifying it and ...
two other American cormorant species back into Nannopterum. The IOC followed this classification in 2021.
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Flightless Cormorant
Galapagos Hawk
The Galápagos hawk (Buteo galapagoensis ) is a large hawk endemic to most of the Galápagos Islands.
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Galapagos Hawk
Galápagos Land Iguana
The Galápagos land iguana (Conolophus subcristatus ) is a very large species of lizard in the family Iguanidae. It is one of three species of the genus Conolophus. It is endemic to the Galápagos Islands, in the dry lowlands of the islands of Fernandina, Isabela, Santa Cruz, North Seymour, Baltra, and South Plaza.
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Galápagos Land Iguana
Thomasomys ucucha
Thomasomys ucucha, also known as the ucucha thomasomys, is a rodent in the genus Thomasomys of the family Cricetidae. It is known only from high altitude forest and grassland habitats in the Cordillera Oriental of Ecuador. Seven other species of Thomasomys live in the same areas. First collected in 1903, T. ucucha was formally described as a new species in 2003 and most closely resembles T. hylophilus, which occurs further to the north. The ...
species is listed as "vulnerable" in the IUCN Red List as a result of habitat destruction.
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Thomasomys ucucha
Vampire ground finch
The vampire ground finch (Geospiza septentrionalis ) is a small bird native to the Galápagos Islands. It was considered a very distinct subspecies of the sharp-beaked ground finch (Geospiza difficilis ) endemic to Wolf and Darwin Islands. The International Ornithologists' Union has split the species supported by strong genetic evidence that they are not closely related, and divergences in morphology and song. Other taxonomic authorities still ...
consider it conspecific.
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Vampire ground finch
Galápagos Racer
The Galápagos racer (Pseudalsophis biserialis ) is a colubrid snake in the genus Pseudalsophis that is endemic to the Galápagos Islands. It is a mildly venomous constrictor but it is not considered aggressive or harmful to humans. The two subspecies are the eastern and western racers, the latter being larger, longer, and darker than the former. The western subspecies specializes in hunting fish, while both subspecies eat small reptiles, eggs, r ...
odents, and bird hatchlings. The Galapagos racer is near threatened due to recently introduced species that feed on snake eggs, including pigs, rats, mice, and cats. It is one of only three species of snakes on the Galápagos Islands, and it was first described in 1860. In November 2016, a video clip from the BBC series Planet Earth II showing a group of Galápagos racers hunting marine iguana hatchlings became a viral trend.
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Galápagos Racer
Hood mockingbird
The Hood mockingbird (Mimus macdonaldi ), also known as the Española mockingbird, is a species of bird in the family Mimidae. It is endemic to Española Island in the Galápagos Islands, Ecuador, and it is one of four closely related mockingbird species endemic to the Galápagos archipelago. It is found in dry forests and is omnivorous, though it primarily is a carnivore or scavenger. The species has a highly territorial social structure and has no fea ...
r of humans. It is the only species of Galápagos mockingbird that Charles Darwin did not see or collect on the voyage of the Beagle.
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Hood mockingbird
Medium ground finch
The medium ground finch (Geospiza fortis ) is a species of bird in the family Thraupidae. It is endemic to the Galapagos Islands. Its primary natural habitat is tropical shrubland. One of Darwin's finches, the species was the first which scientists have observed evolving in real-time.The population of medium ground finches has been experiencing inbreeding depression due to small population numbers. Inbreeding depression occurs when there is a ...
decrease in fitness due to individuals mating with genetic relatives. Typically, this leads to a loss of genetic diversity and a reduction in heterozygosity.
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Medium ground finch
Conolophus marthae
Conolophus marthae, the Galápagos pink land iguana, is a species of lizard of the family Iguanidae. This critically endangered iguana is native only to the Wolf Volcano in northern Isabela Island of the Galápagos Islands (Ecuador). It has a pink body with some dark stripes, prompting some to call it the pink iguana or the Galápagos rosy iguana. The species was first discovered in 1986 and was identified as a separate species, distinct from the Ga ...
lápagos land iguana, early in 2009. This species is the only example of ancient diversification in the genus Conolophus.
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Conolophus marthae
Large ground finch
The large ground finch (Geospiza magnirostris ) is a species of bird. One of Darwin's finches, it is now placed in the family Thraupidae and was formerly in the Emberizidae. It is endemic to the Galapagos Islands, and is found in the arid zone of most of the archipelago, though it is absent from the southeastern islands (Floreana, Española, San Cristóbal, and Santa Fé). It is the largest species of Darwin's finch both in total size and size of be ...
ak. It has a large, short beak for cracking nuts to get food.
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Large ground finch
Woodpecker finch
The woodpecker finch (Camarhynchus pallidus ) is a monomorphic species of bird in the Darwin's finch group of the tanager family, Thraupidae. They are a non-migratory species and are endemic to the Galapagos Islands. The diet of a woodpecker finch revolves mostly around invertebrates, but also encompasses a variety of seeds. Woodpecker finches, like many other species of birds, form breeding pairs and care for young until they have fledged. The ...
most distinctive characteristic of woodpecker finches is their ability to use tools for foraging. This behaviour indicates that they have highly specialized cognitive abilities. Woodpecker finches have also shown the ability to learn new behaviours regarding tool use via social learning. Not all populations of woodpecker finches use tools equally as often, as this is influenced by the environment in which they live.
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Woodpecker finch
Phantasmal poison frog
The phantasmal poison frog or phantasmal poison-arrow frog (Epipedobates tricolor ) is a species of poison dart frog. It is endemic to Ecuador and known from the Andean slopes of the central Ecuador in Bolívar Province. They have radiant colors. This species is endangered, and there are only a few locations in the wild where they are known to live.
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Phantasmal poison frog
Floreana mockingbird
The Floreana mockingbird (Mimus trifasciatus ) or the Charles Island mockingbird, is a species of bird in the family Mimidae. It was endemic to Floreana, one of the Galápagos Islands, but now is found only on two nearby islets, Campeón and Gardner-near-Floreana. The Floreana mockingbird is also known as Darwin's mockingbird, as it was the arguable inspiration for Charles Darwin's work on the origins of species; he noticed distinct differences b ...
etween them and previous species he had encountered and consequently established the existence of other variants on neighboring islands.
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Floreana mockingbird
Green warbler-finch
The green warbler-finch (Certhidea olivacea ) is a species of bird, one of Darwin's finches in the tanager family Thraupidae. Sometimes classified in the family Emberizidae, more recent studies have shown it to belong in the tanager family.When Darwin collected it in 1835 during the Beagle survey expedition he mistakenly thought it was a wren, but on return to England he was informed in March 1837 by the ornithologist John Gould that the bird ...
was in the group of finches.It is endemic to the Galápagos Islands, Ecuador.This species is closely related to the grey warbler-finch, and were formerly considered conspecific, but both species differ in appearance, distribution, habitat, and song. The green warbler-finch consists of only one subspecies, the nominate olivacea, from Santiago, Rábida, Pinzón, Isabela, Fernandina, and Santa Cruz. Green warbler-finches have a greenish coloration to blend into their lusher semihumid forest habitats, as well as distinctive reddish throat patches on breeding males.Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical dry forests, subtropical or tropical moist montane forests, and subtropical or tropical dry shrubland.
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Green warbler-finch
Small tree finch
The small tree finch (Camarhynchus parvulus ) is a species of bird in the Darwin's finch group of the tanager family Thraupidae.It has a grasping beak with curved culmens. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical dry forests and subtropical or tropical dry shrubland. During the non-breeding season it is known to form large groups with small ground-finches.It is an endemic species to the Galapagos islands and its conservation status has ...
been listed as “Least Concern”. However, bird counts which have been conducted since 1997 have shown a continuous decline in small tree-finch populations in the Scalesia and agricultural zones of Santa Cruz, where the small tree-finch is most abundant. Small tree-finch counts have remained stable in the transition zone (also quite abundant here) and in the less popular dry and fern zones on Santa Cruz island.  A recent study has found that this species is in particularly impacted by the larvae of the parasitic avian vampire fly, Philornis downsi.
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Small tree finch
Lava heron
The lava heron (Butorides sundevalli ), also known as the Galápagos heron, is a species of heron endemic to the Galápagos Islands of Ecuador. It is considered by some authorities — including the American Ornithological Society and BirdLife International — to be a subspecies (or even just a colour morph) of the striated heron (B. striata ), and was formerly "lumped" with this species and the green heron (B. virescens ) as the green-backed heron.
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Lava heron
Vegetarian finch
The vegetarian finch (Platyspiza crassirostris ) is a species of bird in the Darwin's finch group of the tanager family Thraupidae. It is the only member of the genus Platyspiza. It is endemic to the Galápagos Islands. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical dry forests and subtropical or tropical moist montane forests.
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Vegetarian finch
Small ground finch
The small ground finch (Geospiza fuliginosa ) is a species of bird in the tanager family Thraupidae. Endemic to the Galápagos Islands, it is common and widespread in shrubland, woodland, and other habitats on most islands in the archipelago. It commonly feeds on small seeds and parasites from the skins of Galápagos land and marine iguanas and Galápagos tortoises.
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Small ground finch
Lilacine amazon
The lilacine amazon (Amazona autumnalis lilacina ) or Ecuadorian red-lored amazon is an amazon parrot native to Ecuador in South America. According to the IOC World Bird List, it is still considered to be a subspecies of the red-lored amazon, although Birdlife International considers it to be a separate species, as Amazona lilacina - as does the International Union for Conservation of Nature for the purposes of the IUCN Red List, rating the ...
lilacine amazon as critically endangered.The lilacine amazon is generally smaller than its related subspecies, with a black beak and more subdued coloring. Lilacine amazons are said to make favorable companion parrots because of their gentle, affectionate nature and agreeable temperament.
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Lilacine amazon
Medium tree finch
The medium tree finch (Camarhynchus pauper ) is a critically endangered species of bird in the Darwin's finch group of the tanager family Thraupidae. It is endemic to the Galápagos Islands where it is only found on Floreana Island. Its name is derived from the fact that the bird's beak is intermediate in size between that of the small tree finch and the large tree finch. Because it has a very small range on a single island, and because of the ...
introduction of a parasitic fly which kills the nestlings, the International Union for Conservation of Nature has rated the medium tree finch as "critically endangered".
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Medium tree finch
El Oro parakeet
The El Oro parakeet, conure D'Orcès, cotorra de El Oro, or perico de El Oro (Pyrrhura orcesi ) is a species of parrot in the family Psittacidae, endemic to Ecuador. It is a relatively newly identified species, having been discovered in 1980. Little is currently known about it.
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El Oro parakeet
Black-breasted puffleg
The black-breasted puffleg (Eriocnemis nigrivestis ) is a species of hummingbird native to Ecuador. It is Endangered, with less than 300 individuals remaining in the wild.
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Black-breasted puffleg
Galápagos shearwater
The Galápagos shearwater (Puffinus subalaris ) is a small shearwater. Until recently it was considered to be a subspecies of Audubon's shearwater, but it is actually one of two members of a very ancient lineage of the small Puffinus species, the other being, as indicated by mtDNA cytochrome b sequence data, the Christmas shearwater.It is an endemic breeder of the Galápagos Islands, and is largely sedentary, although individuals are commonly seen a ...
s far as the Oaxacan coast of Mexico.
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Galápagos shearwater
Galápagos martin
The Galápagos martin (Progne modesta ) is a species of bird in the family Hirundinidae, endemic to the Galápagos Islands.Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical dry shrubland, subtropical or tropical seasonally wet or flooded lowland grassland, pastureland, and heavily degraded former forest.
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Galápagos martin
White-breasted parakeet
The white-breasted parakeet (Pyrrhura albipectus ) or white-necked parakeet is a species of parrot in the family Psittacidae. It is found in southern Ecuador and adjacent northern Peru.Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical moist montane forests. It is threatened by habitat loss.
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White-breasted parakeet
Lava gull
The lava gull (Leucophaeus fuliginosus ), also known as the dusky gull, is a medium-sized gull and a member of the "hooded gull" group. It is most closely related to the Laughing gull and Franklin's gull and is the rarest gull in the world. It is endemic to the Galapagos Islands.
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Lava gull
Common cactus finch
The common cactus finch or small cactus finch (Geospiza scandens ) is a species of bird in the Darwin's finch group of the tanager family Thraupidae. It is endemic to the Galapagos Islands, where it is found on most islands, with the notable exception of Fernandina, Española, Genovesa, Darwin and Wolf. Most of these islands are inhabited by its close relative, the Española cactus finch.Its natural habitats are dry scrubland and woodland. It is u ...
sually closely associated with the cactus Opuntia.
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Common cactus finch
Galápagos mockingbird
The Galápagos mockingbird (Mimus parvulus ) is a species of bird in the family Mimidae. It is endemic to the Galápagos Islands, Ecuador.
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Galápagos mockingbird
Sharp-beaked ground finch
The sharp-beaked ground finch (Geospiza difficilis ) is a species of bird in the Darwin's finch group of the tanager family Thraupidae. It is classified as a least-concern species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and it is native to the Galápagos Islands in Ecuador. It has a mass of around 20 grams (0.71 oz) and the males have black plumage, while females have streaked brown plumage. This finch was described by Richard B ...
owdler Sharpe in 1888.This relatively small, slender-billed finch is endemic to the Galápagos Islands, where it is found on Fernandina, Santiago, Pinta, Genovesa, Darwin, and Wolf Islands. On the first three islands, it breeds in the humid highlands and disperses afterwards, but on the remaining smaller and lower islands the sharp-beaked ground finch is found in the arid zone year-round. Due to habitat destruction its range has decreased. It was formerly also present in the highlands of several other islands, and it is possible it still occurs on Isabela.Both the vampire ground finch and the Genovesa ground finch were considered subspecies. The International Ornithologists' Union have split them, while other taxonomic authorities still consider them conspecific.
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Sharp-beaked ground finch
Mangrove finch
The mangrove finch (Camarhynchus heliobates ) is a species of bird in the Darwin's finch group of the tanager family Thraupidae. It is endemic to the Galápagos Islands. It was found on the islands of Fernandina and Isabela, but recent surveys have failed to record the species on Fernandina. It has been classified as critically endangered by BirdLife International, with an estimated population of between 60 and 140 located in two large mangroves ...
on Isabela. A study has shown that the two small populations remaining on Isabela Island have begun undergoing speciation and that one or both populations will eventually become extinct due to a lack of interbreeding.
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Mangrove finch
Grey warbler-finch
The grey warbler-finch (Certhidea fusca ) is a species of bird, one of Darwin's finches in the tanager family Thraupidae. Sometimes classified in the family Emberizidae, more recent studies have shown it to belong in the tanager family. It is endemic to the Galápagos Islands, Ecuador.This species is closely related to the green warbler-finch, and were formerly considered conspecific, but both species differed in appearance, distribution, ...
habitat, and song. The nominate subspecies is from Pinta and Marchena, becki from Darwin and Wolf, mentalis from Genovesa, bifasciata from Santa Fé, cinerascens from Española, luteola from San Cristóbal, and ridgwayi from Floreana. Grey warbler-finches are found mostly in the shrubland and dry forest of smaller drier islands, and have a suitable coloration for their habitat.Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical dry forests, subtropical or tropical moist montane forests, and subtropical or tropical dry shrubland.
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Grey warbler-finch
Large tree finch
The large tree finch (Camarhynchus psittacula ) is a species of bird in the Darwin's finch group of the tanager family Thraupidae.It is endemic to the Galapagos Islands.Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical dry forests and subtropical or tropical moist montane forests.
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Large tree finch
San Cristóbal mockingbird
The San Cristóbal mockingbird (Mimus melanotis ) or Chatham mockingbird, is a species of bird in the family Mimidae. It is endemic to San Cristóbal Island in the Galápagos Islands.
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San Cristóbal mockingbird
Blue-throated hillstar
The blue-throated hillstar (Oreotrochilus cyanolaemus ) is a hummingbird found only in a small portion of the southwestern Andes in Ecuador. It was discovered in 2017.
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Blue-throated hillstar
Galapagos crake
The Galápagos crake (Laterallus spilonota ), also called the Galápagos rail, is a small rail endemic to the Galápagos Islands. It resembles its sister species, the black rail of the Americas, from which it diverged 1.2 million years ago. It is threatened by introduced species, such as goats and cats, and is considered vulnerable.
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Galapagos crake
Esmeraldas woodstar
The Esmeraldas woodstar (Chaetocercus berlepschi ) is a rare, neotropical species of hummingbird in the family Trochilidae. There are six different species in the woodstar genus. Most of them are poorly studied due to their small size, extremely similar resemblance to each other, and rarity. Esmeraldas woodstars are one of the smallest bird species. They are sexually dimorphic. The main difference between sexes is that males have a bright purple ...
throat. Esmeraldas woodstars are found only on the Pacific coast of west Ecuador in semi-deciduous to evergreen forests. They feed on the nectar of flowering shrubs and trees. The main threat to this species is deforestation. Esmeraldas woodstars are Vulnerable and require habitat protection.
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Esmeraldas woodstar
Galapagos flycatcher
The Galápagos flycatcher (Myiarchus magnirostris ) also known as the large-billed flycatcher is a species of bird in the family Tyrannidae. It is endemic to the Galápagos Islands, where it is present on all the main islands. Its local name is 'Papamoscas'. The species was once placed in its own genus, Eribates, based upon a supposed "very long tarsus".The Galápagos flycatcher is 15 to 16 cm (5.9–6.3 in) in length and weighs 12 - 18.5 grams. It is the ...
smallest member of its genus.Its natural habitats are tropical dry forests and tropical arid shrubland with cacti.The Galápagos flycatcher has become used to human visitors to the Galápagos Islands and flies towards large camera lenses, perceiving its own reflected image as another bird. It habitually perches on visitors and their cameras.
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Galapagos flycatcher
Darwin's flycatcher
Darwin's flycatcher or little vermilion flycatcher (Pyrocephalus nanus ) is a species of flycatcher, closely related to the vermilion flycatcher. It is endemic to the Galápagos Islands. The taxon was described as full species Pyrocephalus dubius by John Gould in 1838. The same threats that led to the San Cristóbal flycatcher's extinction, including invasive species such as rats, threaten the Darwin's flycatcher today. Populations on the islands o ...
f Santa Cruz, Fernandina, Rabida and Isabela. It lives in humid forests and shrubland. They have an average lifespan of 5 years.
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Darwin's flycatcher
Violet-throated metaltail
The violet-throated metaltail (Metallura baroni ), locally called metalura gorjivioleta, is an Endangered species of hummingbird in the "coquettes", tribe Lesbiini of subfamily Lesbiinae. It is endemic to Ecuador.
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Violet-throated metaltail
El Oro tapaculo
The Ecuadorian tapaculo or El Oro tapaculo (Scytalopus robbinsi ) is a small passerine bird belonging to the genus Scytalopus, a genus of tapaculos. It is restricted to a small area in south-western Ecuador and was not described until 1997.It is a small tapaculo, 11 centimetres long. The bill is black and fairly heavy. The plumage is grey with a brown nape and rump and brown barring on the flanks. The tail is blackish. The female's underparts ...
are browner than those of the male. The song is a series of double-notes repeated for about a minute.The bird inhabits the undergrowth of humid forest between 700 and 1250 metres above sea-level on the Andean slope in El Oro Province, Guayas Province and Cañar Province and undoubtedly in the intervening Azuay Province. Its population is believed to be small and declining. It is threatened by the loss, degradation and fragmentation of its habitat and is classified as an endangered species by the IUCN. Part of its range lies within the protected Buenaventura Reserve.
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El Oro tapaculo
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