Ecuador-Peru East Andes

Country/Territory Colombia,Ecuador,Peru
Area 28,000 km2
Altitude 800 - 2200m
Priority urgent
Habitat loss moderate
Knowledge good

General characteristics

This foothill and lower mountain slope EBA stretches the entire length of Ecuador, from southernmost Colombia in Nariño department, along the eastern slopes of the Andes in Ecuador, embracing the Cordilleras Cutucú and del Condor, south into Peru around Huancabamba, then discontinuously across the northern end of the Cordillera Colán and along the eastern slope of the northern Cordillera Oriental (in Amazonas, Loreto and San Martín departments).

The native vegetation of this EBA is tall, upper tropical and subtropical/lower temperate zone evergreen forest (primarily c.800-2,000 m).

The EBA is adjacent to a number of other areas, and its restricted-range species may at times overlap with those from these areas: the Central Andean forests (EBAs 042, 046) are primarily at higher altitude (1,500-,200 m) and the vegetation is cloud forest; the Andean ridgetop forests (EBA 047) of south-east Ecuador and northern Peru are at 1,000-2,450 m, with the restricted-range species present only in the stunted forest on the ridgetops; and the North-east Peruvian cordilleras (EBA 049) are primarily higher at 1,900-3,700 m.

Restricted-range species

All of the restricted-range birds are confined to humid or wet forest, the more stunted forest near the tops of ridges (e.g. Campylopterus villaviscensio), or secondary growth near primary forest, all between c.800 and c.2,200 m. Heliodoxa gularis is found at lower altitudes than most of the other species, but on current evidence appears to be associated solely with the East Andes, although Hilty and Brown (1986) suggest that it may have been recorded at Letitia in the Colombian Amazon. Zimmerius cinereicapillus is known from very few records in Napo department of Ecuador, primarily at 600-800 m, although within the Peruvian portion of its range it is clearly an eastern slope foothill species rather than a lowland Amazonian bird (Ridgely and Tudor 1994). Tangara argyrofenges is essentially a bird of the Bolivian yungas with (apparently) disjunct populations in the East Andean foothills (EBA 053) of Junín department and in the southern, Peruvian portion of the present EBA.

Species IUCN Category
Ecuadorian Piedtail (Phlogophilus hemileucurus) VU
Rufous-vented Whitetip (Urosticte ruficrissa) LC
Pink-throated Brilliant (Heliodoxa gularis) VU
Napo Sabrewing (Campylopterus villaviscensio) NT
Cinnamon Screech-owl (Megascops petersoni) LC
Coppery-chested Jacamar (Galbula pastazae) VU
Speckle-chested Piculet (Picumnus steindachneri) EN
White-necked Parakeet (Pyrrhura albipectus) VU
Bicolored Antvireo (Dysithamnus occidentalis) VU
Peruvian Antpitta (Grallaricula peruviana) NT
Equatorial Greytail (Xenerpestes singularis) NT
Yellow-headed Manakin (Chloropipo flavicapilla) VU
Black-chested Fruiteater (Pipreola lubomirskii) LC
Masked Fruiteater (Pipreola pulchra) LC
Ecuadorian Tyrannulet (Phylloscartes gualaquizae) NT
Red-billed Tyrannulet (Zimmerius cinereicapilla) VU
Straw-backed Tanager (Tangara argyrofenges) VU

Important Bird Areas (IBAs)
IBA Code Site Name Country
Alto Mayo Peru
Florida y Laguna Pomacochas Peru
Sur de la Cordillera de Colán Peru
CO066 Serranía de los Churumbelos Colombia
EC048 Reserva Ecológica Cofán-Bermejo Ecuador
EC050 Parque Nacional Sumaco-Napo Galeras Ecuador
EC051 Cordillera de Huacamayos-San Isidro-Sierra Azul Ecuador
EC057 Corredor Ecológico Llanganates-Sangay Ecuador
EC061 Parque Nacional Sangay Ecuador
EC082 Cordillera de Kutukú Ecuador
EC083 Cordillera del Cóndor Ecuador
EC085 Parque Nacional Podocarpus Ecuador
EC090 Zumba-Chito Ecuador
EC109 Manteles - El Triunfo - Sucre Ecuador
PE050 Cerro Chinguela Peru
PE058 Abra Patricia - Alto Mayo Peru
PE059 Moyobamba Peru
PE060 Jesús del Monte Peru
PE075 Playa Pampa Peru
PE076 Cordillera Yanachaga Peru
PE088 Santuario Histórico Machu Picchu Peru
PE104 Cordillera del Cóndor Peru

Threat and conservation

Many of the moist montane and foothill forests of the northern portion of the Andes are under intense threat from conversion for agriculture and cattle pasture, mining operations and logging (Dinerstein et al. 1995). Widespread destruction of the forest is being caused by peasant farmers and tea and coffee growers at appropriate elevations all along the eastern slope of the Andes (Collar et al. 1992). Specific threats to the forest in this EBA include the cultivation of naranjilla by an increasing human population at c.1,000 m and above in the Volcán Sumaco area of Napo province in Ecuador; in the northernmost portion of the EBA, plans to construct a highway beside the Tumaco-Orito oil pipeline threaten the otherwise pristine forests in eastern Nariño department of Colombia (Wege and Long 1995).

As a consequence of these threats, three restricted-range species are currently considered threatened, and two further more-widespread threatened birds occur in the EBA, Spot-winged Parrotlet Touit stictoptera (classified as Vulnerable) and Little Woodstar Acestrura bombus (Endangered). Eight Key Areas for the conservation of these birds were identified (El Carmen in Colombia, the others in Ecuador) by Wege and Long (1995).

A number of protected areas cover parts of this EBA, such as (in Ecuador) Podocarpus and Sangay National Parks, Cayambe-Coca Ecological Reserve, Sumaco Protection Forest and Cordillera de Cutucú Protection Forest (each of which has been identified as a Key Area for threatened birds), although it should be noted that some of these areas cover altitudinal ranges extending significantly beyond the EBA.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2021) Endemic Bird Areas factsheet: Ecuador-Peru East Andes. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 18/09/2021.