Chilean environmental group Ecologia Unida has dismissed Ecuador’s environmental protection plan for the country’s iconic birds, saying the plan would jeopardize the species’ conservation status.
The environmental group has said the move would destroy the birds’ habitat and increase noise pollution, and that Ecuador has no legal basis to move them.
Ecuador’s Environment Ministry on Tuesday proposed removing all the endangered birds, including the endangered red-necked woodpecker and the Chilean white-breasted parrot, from their natural habitat, in order to clear an area that was considered an environmental problem.
Ecologia says the plan could endanger the birds by destroying their habitat, disrupting their social behavior and damaging their health.
The plan is based on the premise that there are no viable habitats left for the birds to survive in and is also opposed by conservation groups, environmental experts, and conservation groups.
The proposed changes to Ecuador’s bird conservation status would affect birds in Ecuador and neighbouring countries, including Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela.
Ecology Unida’s head of the group’s conservation campaign, Antonio González, told Reuters that the proposed removal would cause an irreparable damage to the birds.
The conservation group said Ecuador could also violate international conservation conventions by not providing adequate support to the conservation efforts, such as through conservation education programs.
Ecologists say the removal of the birds would be the first of its kind in Latin America and the world.
The group said the birds are among the world’s most endangered species.
They are native to the Andes Mountains in Argentina and Chile, and are endangered due to habitat loss, overfishing and pollution, according to the United Nations.