Our planet’s biodiversity relies on the preservation of all ecosystems. However, biodiversity hotspots -areas with a high density of species- deserve special attention. The Choco Bioregion, a major hotspot, snakes its way down from Panama, through Colombia, and into Northern Ecuador. Cut off from the Amazon by the Andes mountains, a whole range of new species has emerged here, many of which are endemic to the region. It is home to more than 11,000 species of vascular plants, 900 bird species, approximately 350 amphibian species, and 210 reptile species.
Unfortunately, the Choco is under threat from deforestation and other non-sustainable activities, such as palm oil expansion, large-scale development plans, and the impending completion of the Pan American Highway, which would imperil the very existence of the Choco and the lives of the indigenous communities who live along the banks of its maze of rivers.
This photo gallery allows you to appreciate the wide range of diversity found in Choco forests, and need to protect them. These species, as well as the habitats they live on, are the silent keepers of our planet’s integrity and survival.