Protect the Blue-throated Hillstar from Extinction

Project Cost: $556,750

Funding Raised: $556,750

Please note that your donation may not be immediately reflected in the funding thermometer above.

Nearly one acre of forest is lost every second


Thanks to generous support from our donors, we have successfully reached our fundraising goal for this project.

Help Save the Only-Known Population of the Blue-throated Hillstar

The Blue-throated Hillstar, a hummingbird native to southwestern Ecuador, is brand new to science. The males’ bright blue throats and emerald green feathers make these rare birds easy to identify. Which is ironic, considering that they only inhabit an isolated part of the Andes mountains and primarily roost in caves.

Unfortunately, the species may already be in danger of extinction. Upon its discovery in 2018, its population was assessed at a mere few hundred individuals and immediately qualified for Endangered or even Critically Endangered status by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature standards.

Header Photo: Blue-throated Hillstar, by Michael Moens.




Blue-throated Hillstar (Oreotrochilus cyanolaemus)

(metric tonnes of CO2 equivalents)*


Fundación Jocotoco

Safeguard the Páramo

The Hillstar’s sole habitat is just under 25,000 acres in the Ecuadorian páramo. The páramo is a high altitude grassland that supports surprisingly high levels of biodiversity, including a number of endemic species. Despite this, and its vital role as a reliable source of water for communities in the valleys below, this habitat is being rapidly lost to agricultural expansion.

This rapid transformation of the habitat into pastures and commercial plantations is destroying the most critical patches of the Chuquiraga jussieui– a low growing evergreen shrub that is the main food source for the Blue-throated Hillstar.

In addition, the soil contains high humidity climatic conditions and a large concentration of organic carbon, making the protection of this ecosystem critical for carbon storage and sequestration.


Be a Part of Our Solution

Your donation supports our conservation work with Fundación Jocotoco, to create a 616-acre protected area to safeguard the only known population of the Blue-throated Hillstar.

Once the protected area is established, our partner will set up patrols to monitor the new reserve, which will create a safe habitat for the Hillstar, as well as other endemic and threatened species found in the area. After securing the core of the habitat, our partner will also work to improve habitat quality by recovering key sections of the Chuquiraga.

Local communities will also be engaged and educated to protect the Blue-throated Hillstar and reduce risks of wildfires. They will also work with local communities to create sustainable ecotourism opportunities to view this rare bird and the land, while preventing harmful activity within the protected area.

Photos (Above & Below): Cave formations in Cerro de Arcos, by Michael Moens.