Republic of Ecuador will be the 85th Party to CMS as from
1 February 2004. The South American country borders the
Pacific Ocean at the Equator, between Colombia and Peru,
the latter being already a Party to CMS. Ecuador's accession
brings the total number of CMS Parties in the Americas to
Ecuador is already Party to the Convention
on Biological Diversity (CBD), the Convention
on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna
and Flora (CITES), the United
Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC),
Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)
and the Ramsar
Convention on Wetlands. Of direct relevance to CMS,
Ecuador has ratified the Agreement
on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels (ACAP),
which will enter into force on 1 February 2004 as well.
Due to its favourable climate and different ecosystems
such as alpine grassland, coastal marshes and tropical rainforests,
Ecuador hosts an abundant variety of species. Its territory
spans the coastal plain, the Andean central highlands of
6,000 m altitude, the Amazonian jungle lowlands and the
Galapagos Islands, Ecuador’s first National Park.
Unique species and ecosystems are to be found on the archipelago,
located six hundred miles offshore in the Pacific Ocean.
Fourteen species listed on CMS Appendix I are reported
to occur in Ecuador. These include four species of marine
turtle, the Loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta),
the Green turtle (Chelonia mydas), whose nesting
colony in the Galapagos is one of the largest in the Eastern
Pacific, the Leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea)
and the Hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata)
and the critically endangered Galapagos petrel (Pterodroma
phaeopygia). Three large whale species that are listed
on both CMS Appendices, the Blue whale (Balaenoptera
musculus), the Fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus)
and the Humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae)
are also designated for concerted actions under CMS.
The Waved albatross and the Black petrel listed on Appendix
II are covered by ACAP, the most recent Agreement concluded
under CMS. The Amazonian manatee, an aquatic mammal, which
was included on Appendix II at COP7, is found in the lagoons
and rivers that flow off of the Amazon River in Ecuador
and its border countries. The Whale shark, the largest fish
in the sea, occurs in the territorial waters of Ecuador.
An Agreement on the conservation of this species is envisaged
to be developed under CMS auspices.