Plate-billed mountain toucan in Bellavista Cloud Forest Reserve, Ecuador
© Tui De Roy/Minden Picture
Life in the cloud forests. Mountain toucan
This plate-billed mountain toucan is among the huge variety of bird species which can be found high up in the Andes mountains in South America. Our homepage photo was taken in Bellavista Cloud Forest Reserve, in Ecuador’s Pichincha Province, a 2,000-acre conservation area established in 1981.
These colourful birds live in the elevated cloud forests of Ecuador and southern Columbia, and are particularly vocal toucans, with males and females known to sing so loudly, they can be heard more than half a mile away. Plate-billed mountain toucans are under threat from deforestation, which reduces their habitat and from poachers who trade in exotic birds. But conservation organisations including Bellavista are offering a glimmer of hope - and refuge - to this and many other rare species of birds, plants and other wildlife.