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Aves y Conservación Inaugurate the First Scientific Station at Kinti Toisán Reserve, in Imbabura, Ecuador

On September 23, we were part of an event that gathered key conservation actors, both national and international, all united to protect, drive forward, and advance scientific efforts in the realm of nature and the communities within the Intag Valley, in the Chocó Andean region.

By Aves y Conservación

Kinti Toisán was established to transform into a hub for research, scientific tourism, environmental education, and restoration. It is a breeding ground for learning and skill development to enhance management, habitat restoration, and forest connectivity using native plants.

The Reserve is situated between altitudes of 2860 to 3300 meters and borders several conservation areas, including the Protective Forest Pajas de Oro, the Community Forest La Loma (Cuellaje parish), and the Cotacachi Cayapas National Park. Moreover, it is an integral part of the strict protection macro-zone within the Municipal Conservation and Sustainable Use Area of Intag Toisán, in the Cotacachi canton, Imbabura province.

In the surrounding areas of Kinti Toisan, some of the last remaining Alto Andean forests are protected. These are the dwelling grounds of emblematic species such as the endemic and endangered Black-breasted Puffleg, the Plate-billed Mountain-Toucan, the Tangara Finch, and the Andean Bear. New plant and animal species have also been discovered.

In 2023, these efforts are further bolstered by the support of new partners such as the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF), Environment Canada, Butler Foundation, as well as a project funded by the Global BirdFair, one of the world’s major birdwatching tourism fairs, which took place last July in Rutland, United Kingdom.

The creation of Kinti Toisán was made possible through collaboration with various committed conservation organizations, including BirdLife International Americas, Dansk Ornitologisk Forening/BirdLife Denmark, American Bird Conservancy, Marshall Reynolds Foundation, and Weeden Foundation.

Juan Carlos Valarezo, Executive Director of Aves y Conservación, mentions that the construction of a cabin and a classroom marks the beginning of the journey towards restoring degraded forests and promoting sustainable activities among the communities of the Intag Valley.

For more information and details about Kinti Toisán, please contact us at [email protected].

The name of the Reserve is a fusion of ‘Kinti,’ which translates to ‘Hummingbird’ in Kichwa, and ‘Toisán,’ denoting its location in the Key Biodiversity Area (KBA) of Intag – Toisán. Photo: Aves y Conservación.
The Black-breasted Puffleg (eriocnemis nigrivestis) is one of the numerous emblematic species in this region that are currently endangered. Photo: Luis Calapi, Aves y Conservación.
Aves y Conservación is a non-governmental Ecuadorian organization devoted to avian and habitat conservation for 37 years. In 2022, the institution established the Kinti Toisán Reserve in the Intag Valley, where they set up their first scientific station. Photo: Aves y Conservación.