Ten SLU students spent three weeks in Ecuador in June 2022 with Assoc. Professor Susan Willson, as participants in her “Tropical ecology and conservation in Ecuador's highlands and the Galapagos” course. Students learned about conservation issues facing Andean Condors in the paramo highlands, from members of the Quito-based Fundación Cóndor Andino Ecuador, as well as the concerns faced by farmers and ecosystems due to climate change and melting glaciers. They then focused on cloud forest biodiversity and ecology by studying bird diversity and behavior, and saw an amazing array of species including tanagers, hummingbirds, and all five toucan species. They finished the course in the Galapagos Islands, where they focused on marine birds and sea life, marine and land reptile biodiversity, and the famous Darwin’s finches. They also heard first-hand from local guides about conservation threats to these remote yet far from “untouched” islands. Check out the student’s blog of the course and what they learned! https://sites.stlawu.edu/ecuador2022
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