In the seldom visited mountains high above Banos, a popular resort community poised between Ecuador’s Amazon and Andean environments, lie spectacular flora seen but not yet known to science, including orchids much like the one I photographed here. As is the scenario for all too many species, before science can save this flora, like-minded people must secure the land on which they live. Land acquisition and habitat protection is the priority of a local grassroots conservation coalition headed up by ex-patriot botanist Lou Jost in Ecuador. To learn more about his efforts, view the EcoMinga Foundation website! They have been very successful, with financial support from England’s World Land Trust Ecuador program and others, in assembling a reserve in the upper Pastaza watershed.
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