39.2% —or about 10,853,000 hectares—of Ecuador is forested. Of this, 44.2% —or roughly 4,794,000 hectares—is classified as primary forest, the most biodiverse form of forest.

Change in Forest Cover: Between 1990 and 2000, Ecuador lost an average of 197,600 hectares of forest per year. The amounts to an average annual deforestation rate of 1.43%. Between 2000 and 2005, the rate of forest change increased by 16.7% to 1.67% per annum. In total, between 1990 and 2005, Ecuador lost 21.5% of its forest cover, or around 2,964,000 hectares. Measuring the total rate of habitat conversion (defined as change in forest area plus change in woodland area minus net plantation expansion) for the 1990-2005 interval, Ecuador lost 19.2% of its forest and woodland habitat.

Biodiversity and Protected Areas: Ecuador has some 2703 known species of amphibians, birds, mammals and reptiles according to figures from the World Conservation Monitoring Centre. Of these, 14.2% are endemic, meaning they exist in no other country, and 10.2% are threatened. Ecuador is home to at least 19362 species of vascular plants, of which 20.7% are endemic. 9.3% of Ecuador is protected under IUCN categories I-V.

Ecuador Environmental profile | Ecuador pictures


Ecuador: Forest Cover, 2005
Total Land Area (ha)27,684,000
Total Forest Area (ha)10,853,000
Percent Forest Cover39.20%
Primary Forest Cover (ha)4,794,000
Primary Forest, % total forest44.17%
Primary Forest, % total land17.32%
Other wooded land (ha)1,448,000

Ecuador : Forest types
Tropical (% forest area)100%
Subtropical (% forest area)0%
Temperate (% forest area)0%
Boreal/polar (% forest area)0%

Ecuador: Breakdown of forest types, 2005
Primary forest (ha | %)4,794,00044.2%
Modified natural (ha | %)5,895,00054.3%
Semi-natural (ha | %)--
Production plantation (ha | %)164,0001.5%
Production plantation (ha | %)--

Ecuador: Change in Forest Cover
Forest 1990 (ha)13,817,000
Forest 2000 (ha)11,841,000
Forest 2005 (ha)10,853,000
Annual Change 1990-2000 (ha | %)(197,600)-1.43%
Annual Change 2000-2005 (ha | %)(197,600)-1.67%
Total Change 1990-2005 (ha | %)(2,964,000)-21.45%
Change in rate (%)16.69%
Primary 1990 (ha)4,794,000
Primary 2000 (ha)4,794,000
Primary 2005 (ha)4,794,000
Annual Change 1990-2000 (ha | %)-0.00%
Annual Change 2000-2005 (ha | %)-0.00%
Total Change 1990-2005 (ha | %)-0.00%
Change in rate (%)#DIV/0!
Other 1990 (ha)1,201,000
Other 2000 (ha)1,360,000
Other 2005 (ha)1,448,000
Annual Change 1990-2000 (ha | %)15,9001.32%
Annual Change 2000-2005 (ha | %)17,6001.29%
Total Change 1990-2005 (ha | %)247,00020.57%
Change in rate (%)-2.25%
Other 1990 (ha)-
Other 2000 (ha)162,000
Other 2005 (ha)164,000
Annual Change 1990-2000 (ha | %)--
Annual Change 2000-2005 (ha | %)4000.25%
Total Change 1990-2005 (ha | %)--
Change in rate (%)-
Forest area+Wooded Area-Plantations
Other 1990 (ha)15,018,000
Other 2000 (ha)13,039,000
Other 2005 (ha)12,137,000
Annual Change 1990-2000 (ha | %)(197,900)-1.32%
Annual Change 2000-2005 (ha | %)(180,400)-1.38%
Total Change 1990-2005 (ha | %)(2,881,000)-19.18%
Change in rate (%)4.99%

Ecuador: Primary
Primary or "old-growth" vegetation
Primary Forest 2005 (ha)4,794,000
Other primary wooded land 2005 (ha)-
Other primary wooded land 2005 (ha)4,794,000
Undisturbed vegetation 2005 (% land area)17.32%

Ecuador: Forest designation
Ownership of forest land, 2000
Public (%)77.1%
Private (%)-
Other (%)22.9%
Ownership of other wooded land, 2000
Public (%)-
Private (%)-
Other (%)-
Designated functions of forest – primary function 2005
Production (%)1.5%
Protection (%)21.5%
Conservation (%)44.2%
Social Services (%)-
Multiple Services (%)18.9%
None of Unknown (%)13.8%

Ecuador: Disturbances affecting forest land 2000
Forest Area annually affected by
Fire (%)-
Insects (ha)-
Diseases (ha)-
Other (ha)-

Ecuador: Protected areas
Protected areas
Biosphere reserves, 2005
Wetlands of international importance (Ramsar sites), 200511
World Heritage sites, 20044
Protected Areas: IUCN categories I-V, percent of total land9.3%
Protected Areas: IUCN categories Ia, Ib, and II, extent, percent of total land8.13%
Protected Areas: IUCN categories III, IV, and V, percent of total land, 20040.01%
Protected Areas: IUCN categories VI and other, percent of total land, 200415.57%

Ecuador: Biodiversity - Wildlife
total species428
endemic species185
threatened species163
total species1515
endemic species56
threatened species69
total species341
endemic species26
threatened species34
total species419
endemic species117
threatened species10
Wildlife diversity
total species2703
endemic species384
threatened species276

Ecuador: Biodiversity - Plants
Growing stock composition
3 most common species
% of total growing stock
Growing stock composition
3 most common species
% of total growing stock
Number of Native tree species
Native tree species1,000
Number of tree species in IUCN red list
Critically Endangered240
Vascular Plant Species, 2004
Number endemic4000
Number of Threatened Plant Species, 2004
Species threatened181

Ecuador: Value of forests
Biomass stock in forest, 2005
Above-ground biomass (M t)-
Below-ground biomass (M t)-
Dead wood (M t)-
Total (M t)-
Carbon stock in forest, 2005
Carbon in above-ground biomass (M t)-
Carbon in below-ground biomass (M t)-
Carbon in dead wood (M t)-
Carbon in litter (M t)-
Soil carbon (M t)-
Change in growing stock 1990 - 2005
Annual change rate (1000 cubic m/yr)
Growing stock per hectare 1990 - 2005
Annual change rate ( cubic m/ha per yr)
Wood removal 2005
Industrial roundwood (1000 cubic m)1,360
Wood fuel (1000 cubic m)6,979
Total wood removal 2005 (1000 cubic m)8,339
Total wood removal 2005 (% of growing stock)-
Plant products 2005
Food (t)-
Fodder (t)-
Raw material for medicine and aromatic products (t)-
Raw material for colorants and dyes (t)-
Raw material for utensils, handicrafts & construction (t)-
Ornamental plants (t)-
Exudates (t)-
Other plant products (t)-
Animal products 2005
Living animals (units)-
Hides, skins and trophies (units)-
Wild honey and bee-wax (t)-
Bush meat (t)-
Raw material for medicine and aromatic products (t)-
Raw material for colorants and dyes (t)-
Other edible animal products (t)-
Other non-edible animal products (t)-
Value of wood and non-wood forest product removal 2005
Industrial roundwood (US$)$93,193,000
Wood fuel (US$)$45,785,000
Non-wood forest products (US$)-
Total value (US$)$138,978,000
Total value ($USD/ha)$13
Employment in forestry 2000
Total people employedn.s.

Ecuador : Production, trade and consumption of forest products, 2002
Woodfuel ('000 cubic m), 2002
Industrial roundwood ('000 cubic m), 2002
Sawnwood ('000 cubic m), 2002
Wood-based panels ('000 cubic m), 2002
Pulp for paper ('000 metric tons), 2002
Paper and paperboard ('000 metric tons), 2002
Ecuador: Environment
Environment - current issuesdeforestation; soil erosion; desertification; water pollution; pollution from oil production wastes in ecologically sensitive areas of the Amazon Basin and Galapagos Islands
Environment - international agreementsparty to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Natural hazardsfrequent earthquakes, landslides, volcanic activity; floods; periodic droughts

Ecuador: Land use / Resources
Land use (%)arable land: 5.85%
permanent crops: 4.93%
other: 89.22% (2001)
Natural resourcespetroleum, fish, timber, hydropower

Ecuador: Economy
Economy - overview:Ecuador has substantial petroleum resources, which have accounted for 40% of the country's export earnings and one-fourth of central government budget revenues in recent years. Consequently, fluctuations in world market prices can have a substantial domestic impact. In the late 1990s, Ecuador suffered its worst economic crisis, with natural disasters and sharp declines in world petroleum prices driving Ecuador's economy into free fall in 1999. Real GDP contracted by more than 6%, with poverty worsening significantly. The banking system also collapsed, and Ecuador defaulted on its external debt later that year. The currency depreciated by some 70% in 1999, and, on the brink of hyperinflation, the MAHAUD government announced it would dollarize the economy. A coup, however, ousted MAHAUD from office in January 2000, and after a short-lived junta failed to garner military support, Vice President Gustavo NOBOA took over the presidency. In March 2000, Congress approved a series of structural reforms that also provided the framework for the adoption of the US dollar as legal tender. Dollarization stabilized the economy, and growth returned to its pre-crisis levels in the years that followed. Under the administration of Lucio GUTIERREZ - January 2003 to April 2005 - Ecuador benefited from higher world petroleum prices, and the new government under Alfredo PALACIO has proposed economic reforms to reduce Ecuador's vulnerability to petroleum price swings and financial crises. High oil prices have kept the current account in surplus. PALACIO is committed to spending a part of the oil windfall on social projects.
GDP - per capita$3,900 (2005 est.)
GDP - real growth rate (%)3% (2005 est.)
Agriculture - productsbananas, coffee, cocoa, rice, potatoes, manioc (tapioca), plantains, sugarcane; cattle, sheep, pigs, beef, pork, dairy products; balsa wood; fish, shrimp
GDP - composition by sector (%)agriculture: 7.4%, industry: 31.8%, services: 60.8% (2005 est.)
Industries petroleum, food processing, textiles, wood products, chemicals
Economic aid - recipient$216 million (2002)
Debt - external$17.01 billion (31 December 2004 est.)
Population below poverty line (%)45% (2001 est.)
Labor force - by occupation (%)agriculture 8%, industry 24%, services 68% (2001)

Ecuador: Population / Demographics
Population (July 2005)13,363,593
Population growth rate (%) (2005)1.24%
Population density (people/sq km) (2005)48.3
Percent rural (2003)38.2%
Median age (years)total: 23.27 years
Total fertility rate (children born/woman)2.72 (2005 est.)
Ethnic groups (%)mestizo (mixed Amerindian and white) 65%, Amerindian 25%, Spanish and others 7%, black 3%

Largest Cities in Ecuador

Cities and urban areas in Ecuador with population over 100,000 All figures are estimates for 2002.

CityCountryCity PopulationUrban Area Population
Santo DomingoEcuador194100194100

 Environment, Land use / Resources, Economy, Population / Demographics, Infrastructure, Health -- CIA World Factbook, 2005
 Forest Cover, Forest types, Breakdown of forest types, Change in Forest Cover, Primary forests, Forest designation, Disturbances affecting forest land, Value of forests, Production, trade and consumption of forest products -- The FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION OF THE UNITED NATIONS's Global Forest Resources Assessment (2005) and the State of the World’s Forests (2005, 2003, 2001)
 Protected Areas, Plant and animal biodiversity -- United Nations Environment Programme - World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC). 2004. World Database on Protected Areas.
 Biosphere reservers -- United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) - Man and Biosphere Program. 2004. UNESCO - MAB Biosphere Reserves Directory.
 RAMSAR sites -- The Bureau of the Convention on Wetlands . 2005. The Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance.
 World Resources Institute's EarthTrends web site
 The 2004 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
 Population Data -- United Nations Population Fund
 With additional analysis by Rhett Butler of

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