Appeal to save newly-discovered hummingbird's habitat from destruction
PUBLISHED: 17:49 05 February 2019 | UPDATED: 23:05 06 February 2019
The World Land Trust has launched a campaign to save the blue-throated hillstar’s habitat from being decimated by mining.
The stunning bird was discovered last year and is already in critical danger of extinction. It is only found on a remote series of mountaintops in southern Ecuador where mining corporations have gained the rights to extract metals.
WLT, which has a head office in Halesworth in Suffolk, has launched the Save the Blue-throated Hillstar appeal to enable its partner Naturaleza y Cultura Ecuador (NCE) to extend a Water Protection Area to include the hillstar’s 70,000 acre range. By incorporating the hillstar’s habitat in the Water Protection Area it will have government-level protection, which will stop the threat of mining.
It is a unique opportunity to save a critically endangered species from extinction,” said Richard Cuthbert, director of conservation at the trust. “If we do not act now, mining corporations can move in on the habitat and create a mine which would most likely wipe out the hillstar population.
“This situation is the perfect example of why habitat conservation is so important. Habitat loss is one of the greatest causes of species extinction worldwide, and for every habitat we lose, we eliminate a stronghold for numerous plant and animal species.
For species such as the blue-throated hillstar, with such a small range, this can mean extinction.”
As well as the blue-throated hillstar, a new species of frog, the tik tik rain frog, was also discovered in August, found very close to the eastern border of the proposed protected area. This unique páramo habitat is also home to spectacled bear, mountain tapir and the magnificent Andean condor.
For more information visit worldlandtrust.org/hillstar or call the WLT office at 01986 874422.