Ecuadorian Tapaculo, El Oro Tapaculo (Scytalopus robbinsi)
Mohamed bin Zayed Species project number 13257994
The endangered Ecuadorian Tapaculo (Scytalopus robbinsi) is a bird endemic to southwestern Ecuador. It inhabits wet forests on the foothills of the Andes and requires a high amount of natural vegetation, mainly a dense understory cover. Population numbers are unknown, but assumed to decline at an accelerating pace due to high rates of habitat fragmentation an loss. More than 95% of natural forests in the Tapaculo's habitat range have been logged and converted to cattle pastures or agricultural plantations, resulting in a mosaic of disjunct fragments of forest patches. Being a bad disperser and reluctant to cross open habitat, the Ecuadorian Tapaculo demands a high level of habitat connectivity.
The main objective of our project is the creation of a scientific basis to restore functional connectivity for the Ecuadorian Tapaculo. Specifically, we aim at the following:
- Assessment of the population status by counting individuals and territories
- Assessment of the genetic variability
- Landscape genetics analysis to identify dispersal barriers
- Identification of remaining suitable habitat
The results gained in our study will help us to establish an effective dispersal corridor for the Ecuadorian Tapaculo. A biological corridor connecting formerly disjunct Tapaculo populations will facilitate migration and gene flow between them and hopefully result in a species recovery.
Project 13257994 location - Ecuador, South America