Extending from Southern Panama to the North of Peru the Choco is one of the world’s great ecosystems and features habitats ranging from mangroves and moist rainforests to dry tropical forests. The Choco is home to an incredible range of wildlife including 9000 plant species and 2250 animal species. Throughout the region there is a high level of endemism with approximately 25% of the plant and animal species found nowhere else in the world.
Over the past 100 years large areas of the Choco have been damaged by settlement, mining, logging and conversion to agricultural use. Although much of the Colombian and Panamanian Choco remain intact only 2% of the Ecuadorian Choco is still in its original state. The destruction and fragmentation of the Choco has led to 36 species becoming endangered, and has resulted in an increased focus on the need to protect the Choco for future generations.
Approximately 6.3% of the Choco is protected by Ecological Reserves and National Parks. Efforts are underway to connect together these protected areas to form a continuous conservation corridor extending from Panama to Peru. A number of organisations are also working to strengthen the protection of the existing Parks and Reserves to ensure their future conservation.