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TiME for Birding for Conservation

This 8-day field trip led by expert birders Jonathan Meyrav & Juan Carlos Figueroa will visit reserves in the Chocó Forest, Tapichalaca and Chakana, with many opportunities for birding in transit between reserves. The trip is organized by This Is My Earth (TiME), Flyways Birding & Nature and Jocotours to support biodiversity hotspot land acquisition for the Jocotoco Foundation to protect in perpetuity.

  • An opportunity to see the Jocotoco Antpitta, Great Green Macaw, Banded Ground Cuckoo, Andean Condor and many endemic, threatened and vulnerable bird species.
  • Join ecologists and conservationists, Robert Holt, Clive Jones, Uri Shanas and Jonathan Meyrav in discussions about birds, biodiversity, and conservation opportunities and challenges.
  • Learn about the work and missions of TiME from CEO Uri Shanas and the Jocotoco Foundation from CEO Martin Schaefer.
  • Visit a new biodiversity hotspot in the Chocó Forest recently acquired with the help of TiME, and a hotspot TiME is targeting to help acquire in Tapichalaca.
  • See the spectacled bear – the real Paddington – and many endemic animal and plant species.
  • Help protect critical habitat for birds and other species forever.

Download the “TiME for Birding for Conservation” brochure with key information here


$3,420 Tour Price* + $5,000 Donation

*Tour Price Includes: All accommodation and transport within Ecuador including flights; all meals from dinner, day 1, including beer/wine with dinners; guiding and entry fees; tips for local guides, drivers, and lodge staff. Tour Price Excludes: International flights; extra alcoholic beverages; personal items; tips to tour leaders. Important: Due to limited lodge space, nights at Chocó Lodge and Casa Simpson require sharing double rooms. Single room supplement is available at Quito and Loja hotels for $400.

The donation will help TiME raise funds for acquiring a biodiversity hotspot in Tapichalaca for the Fundación Jocotoco to manage. The donation is to be paid separately when the Tour Price is paid, and is tax deductible to the extent allowed by US law. This is My Earth is a 501(c)3 non-profit charity registered in New York State, United States. IRS Tax Identification Number: 47-5499709.

A very limited number of spaces are available on this exclusive trip.

For booking, visit the Flyways Birding & Nature Ecuador Trip Web Site

The Itinerary

DayDate Birding AreaAccommodationBird GuidesGround TransportMealsOther Guides & Flights
121-Feb-24Arrive QuitoHostelaria San José de Puembo, QuitoNONEAirport transferD
222-Feb-24Quito to Mirador Rio Blanco to Canandé ReserveChocó Lodge, Canandé ReserveJonathan Meyrav & Juan Carlos FigueroaVehicle & driverBLDForest Ranger
323-Feb-24Canandé ReserveChocó Lodge, Canandé ReserveJonathan Meyrav & Juan Carlos FigueroaVehicle & driverBLDForest Ranger
424-Feb-24Canandé ReserveChocó Lodge, Canandé ReserveJonathan Meyrav & Juan Carlos FigueroaVehicle & driverBLDForest Ranger
525-Feb-24Canandé Reserve to QuitoHostelaria San José de Puembo, QuitoJonathan Meyrav & Juan Carlos FigueroaVehicle & driverBLD
626-Feb-24Quito to Loja to Tapichalaca ReserveCasa Simpson, Tapichalaca ReserveJonathan Meyrav & Juan Carlos FigueroaVehicle & driverBLDFly Quito To LojaForest Ranger
727-Feb-24Tapichalaca areaCasa Simpson, Tapichalaca ReserveJonathan Meyrav & Juan Carlos FigueroaVehicle & driverBLDForest Ranger
828-Feb-24Tapichalaca area to LojaSonesta Hotel, LojaJonathan Meyrav & Juan Carlos FigueroaVehicle & driverBLD
929-Feb-24Loja to Quito to Chakana ReserveHostelaria San José de Puembo, QuitoJonathan Meyrav & Juan Carlos FigueroaVehicle & driverBLDFly Loja To Quito
1001-Mar-24Depart QuitoNONENONEAirport transferB

The Locations, Birds & Other Species

We will be visiting 3 of the 15 reserves managed by the Jocotoco Foundation and Mirador Rio Blanco. There will be numerous additional opportunities for birding, wildlife, plants and scenery in transit.

Mirador Rio Blanco is a frequent lunch spot for birders with bird feeders on our way to Canandé Reserve from Quito. The eBird February Species Observed List has ca. 112 species.

Canandé Reserve comprises 14,000 acres in the lowland tropical forest of the Chocó. Only 2-5% of original forest remains.

Birds include Great Green Macaw, Baudó Guan, Plumbeous Forest Falcon, Banded Ground-Cuckoo, Long-wattled Umbrellabird, Scarlet-breasted Dacnis, Yellow Green Bush-Tanager, Sapayoa, Black & White Hawk Eagle, Chocó Poorwill, and Great Jacamar. 37 of 62 species endemic to the Chocó ecoregion are found there, some endangered or vulnerable. The eBird February Species Observed List has ca. 280 species. Reptiles & Amphibia include the Kiki, Horned Marsupial Frog, and glass frogs – all protected species. 71 species, 35 endemic, and 3 threatened worldwide are present.

Mammals include Jaguar, Puma, Ocelot and Margay, Peccary, Red Brocket Deer, and 3 monkey species – Mantled Howler, Brown-headed Spider, and White Fronted Capuchin.

Rare & Endangered Plants include Lily (Eucaris sp.), Geonoma palm, Anthurium andreanum, and a new species of Liparis Orchid.

Tapichalaca Reserve is the first Jocotoco reserve. Established to protect the Jocotoco Antpitta, it now contains >50% of the global population. The reserve has 8 trails, a Jocotoco Antpitta feeding station, and an extraordinary diversity of birds, mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and plants.

Birds include globally threatened Jocotoco Antpitta, Bearded Guan, Coppery-chested Jacamar, White-breasted Parakeet, and Masked Mountain Tanager; near threatened Imperial Snipe, Gray-breasted Mountain-Toucan, Brown-billed Scythebill, Neblina Metatail, Orange-Banded Flycatcher, and Masked Saltator; along with Andean Potoo, Golden-plumed Parakeet, Chesnut-naped Antpitta, and White-capped Tanager. There are over 300 bird species in the reserve and adjacent areas. The eBird February Species Observed List has ca. 250 species.

Reptiles & Amphibia include the Tapichalaca Tree Frog found only in the reserve.Mammals include Andean Tapir, Puma, Andean Paca, Little Red Brocket Deer, Andean Coati and Spectacled Bear (of Paddington Bear fame).

Plants include over 130 species of Ecuadorian endemics, 90% threatened; 100’s of orchid species, 30 local; the rediscovered liana Bomarea longipesen, Romerillos (Podocarpus spp.), and Sangre de Drago trees.

Chakana Reserve is most known for the Andean Condor, the reserve is a sanctuary roosting site for up to 40 of Ecuador’s 150 known individuals, with 2 of only 6 known nesting sites in the country. A cattle herd is used to feed the condors. The reserve contains the Rock of the Condor, Antisanilla lava flow, and Páramo wetlands where migratory birds visit October to March.

Birds include Andean Condor, Peregrine Falcon, & Curiquingue (sacred bird of the Incans). eBird February Species Observed List has ca. 51 species.

Mammals include Spectacled Bear, Mountain Tapir, Puma, and Andean Fox.

A day-by-day detailed itinerary that includes locations, birds and other species is available at the Flyways Birding & Nature Trip Web Site.

Who’s Who on the Trip

Professor Robert D. Holt is Eminent Scholar & Arthur R. Marshall, Jr., Chair in Ecological Studies in the Department of Biology, University of Florida, Gainesville. He is widely known for his work in population and community ecology, their connections to evolutionary biology, and their application to conservation biology. The author of over 370 publications, including 4 authored and edited books, his honors and awards include election as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and Fellow of the Ecological Society of America. He is an elected Member of the US National Academy of Sciences, recipient of the Eminent Ecologist Award of the Ecological Society of America, and past President of the American Society of Naturalists. A keen naturalist, he has worked all over the world. He is an avid birder with a substantial life list!

Dr. Clive G. Jones is Emeritus Senior Scientist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, New York. He is best known for his work on how species change the physical environment – Ecosystem Engineering – including how they create habitats and affect biodiversity. Recognized as the founder of this now large field of basic and applied research, he is the author of over 200 publications including 6 authored and edited books. An elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, his other awards and honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Blaise Pascal International Research Chair and a Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences Visiting Professorship. He has served on numerous international advisory boards and panels and is a member of the Board of Directors of This Is My Earth. He is also a keen naturalist who has worked in many countries around the world.

Uri Shanas - TiME for Birding for Conservation

Professor Uri Shanas, CEO, This Is My Earth (TiME), is in the Department of Biology and Environment at the University of Haifa-Oranim, Israel. The author of over 60 scientific publications, he has been a Visiting Professor at Massey University, New Zealand, and Portland State University, Oregon, USA. He co-founded the Israel Union for Environmental Defense; has served on the Israel Nature and Parks Authority; led the expert committee of Israel’s Green Movement Party. He has served on various national and international committees including the board of directors of the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel, the Long Term Social and Ecological Research Network, and UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Programme. A passionate nature lover and conservationist, he founded TiME in 2016.

Dr. Martin Schaefer, CEO, Jocotoco. After a dual career in evolutionary ecology and conservation, Martin declined an endowed chair in academia to protect ecosystems. He is strongly focussed on scaling up protection to address global conservation priorities and challenges. Under his leadership, Jocotoco doubled the size of its reserves, grew staff by 160% to 110, and the size of land co-managed by 600%. To safeguard the long-term ecological viability, Martin expanded the model of strictly protected private reserves to regional conservation projects, including the ocean. Martin is an avid birder who started to work in Ecuador 21 years ago on the then critically endangered Pale-headed Brushfinch and El Oro Parakeet. 

Jonathan Meyrav, Tour Leader & Founder, Flyways Birding & Nature. After freelance tour guiding around the world, Jonathan began working with Birdlife Israel in 2006 as a tour leader and field survey coordinator. He and colleagues developed a birding tourism program, establishing Israel as a birding and conservation hub for birders worldwide. He became director of Tourism and International Events for Birdlife Israel in 2010. He started the Eilat and the Hula Valley Bird Festivals, has organized international conferences, and founded Champions of the Flyway – an international bird-a-thon that raises funds and awareness against illegal killing of birds along flyways. Jonathan began birding at age 10, earned his banding license at age 14, and has been extensively involved in monitoring bird migration, surveys and research in Israel. He has seen over 3,000 bird species around the world and speaks English, French, Spanish, and Hebrew. Passionate about birding to raise awareness and support of conservation, he founded Flyways Birding & Nature in 2022.

The Organizations

This Is My Earth, TiME. Established in 2016, TiME is a non-profit NGO that uses web-based crowd-funding to raise money for acquiring biodiversity hotspots, transferring the funds to local partner communities and NGO’s to protect the land in perpetuity. Candidate sites are selected by an expert Scientific Advisory Committee based on their biodiversity, their importance in helping connect to or expand adjacent protected land, and the quality of the long-term management plan for protection. TiME is democratic – every person who becomes a member for the year by donating as little as $1 gets one vote for the candidate site of their choice irrespective of the amount they donate. 100% of crowd-funded donations go directly to land acquisition. At the end of the year, TiME allocates donations to sites based on the relative number of votes each site receives. Since 2017, TiME has helped protect 8 biodiversity hotspots in 5 countries across 3 continents totaling ca. 4,000 acres of critical habitat for many species of conservation concern. TiME has an education program in North America, Israel and Uganda that works with teachers, and uses the TiME model and resources to help children learn about biodiversity and how to protect it. TiME is working to expand the international scope of its programs. Most of TiME’s activities are conducted by volunteers. TiME helped acquire land in the Chocó Forest in 2022, and land at Tapichalaca is a current candidate site. Both parcels will be managed by the Jocotoco Foundation.

Jocotoco Foundation. Fundación Jocotoco is an Ecuadorian conservation non-profit NGO founded in 1998 to protect the newly discovered Jocotoco Antpitta – a highly range-restricted bird species with fewer than 500 individuals. Since then, Jocotoco has established a network of 15 conservation reserves totaling over 33,000 ha. (81,500 acres) protecting some of the world’s most endangered species by conserving their remaining natural habitats. Jocotoco expanded its model to collaborate in managing national parks and to work on ecological restoration, most notably eradicating invasive species on Floreana, Galapagos, to re-introduce the Floreana Mockingbird.

Jocotours is a birding and nature ecotourism operator in Ecuador that helps support conservation projects of the Jocotoco Foundation. It organizes tours across 15 reserves that protect 1,070 bird species. Jocotours manages 5 lodges and one research station with accommodation, food and an extensive network of trails that offer peace, privacy and comfort in a natural and bio-diverse environment.

Flyways Birding & Nature is based in Israel but operates worldwide. It was founded by birders for birders who believe birds to be the perfect gateway to conservation. Tours are designed to highlight conservation and nature protection and are operated in collaboration with like-minded organizations. This is My Earth (TiME) is a partner.


Flyways Birding & Nature

Jonathan Meyrav 

PO Box 133 Shilat, Israel

[email protected]

+972 52-368-9774

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jmeyrav/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jmeyrav?lang=en

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jm2bird/?hl=en

TiME, This Is My Earth, INC

POB 2722, 1175 Marlkress Rd, Cherry Hill, NJ 08034, USA

Ecuador Trip Email Contact:

[email protected] 

This is My Earth is an IRS-recognized Section 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization registered in New York State, United States. Tax Identification Number: 47-5499709.

Photo credits:

Brochure Photo Credits:

© Andres Vasquez – Ayampe – Crimson-breasted Finch

© Andres Vasquez – Narupa – Cerulean Warbler

© Andres Vasquez – Narupa – Wire-crested Thorntail

© Andres Vasquez – Yanacocha – Rainbow-bearded Thornbill

© Andres Vasquez – Yunguilla – Golden Grosbeak

© Andres Vasquez – Antisanilla – Ecuadorian Hillstar

© Andres Vasquez – Jocotoco Antpitta Tapichalaca

© Andres Vasquez – Tapichalaca – Golden-plummed Parakeet

© Andres Vasquez – Utuana – Rainbow Starfrontlet

People Images

Robert Holt, © Robert Holt

Clive Jones,  © Clive Jones

Uri Shanas, © Uri Shanas

Martin Schaefer w Endangered Magnolia, © Julia Watkins

Jonathan Meyrav, © Jonathan Meyrav


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SAM SHANEE on WHY protect Biodiversity through THIS IS MY EARTH – PART 2/4 Neotropical Primate Conservation (NPC) is a registered charity dedicated to the conservation of primates and their habitats in South and Central America. NPC aims to promote conservation and protect biodiversity in the Neotropics by working in several ways. NPC uses monkeys as…

TiME ∙ Jul 8

3 min read

This is My Earth explained in 1 minute

We have created this short video to explained most of the things we do: This is My Earth explained in 1 minute

TiME ∙ Jul 5

3 min read

“Even though there are wild areas with intact forest you can see that some of them don’t have any monkeys left”

SAM SHANEE on WHY protect Biodiversity through THIS IS MY EARTH – PART 1/4 Neotropical Primate Conservation (NPC) is a registered charity dedicated to the conservation of primates and their habitats in South and Central America. NPC aims to promote conservation and protect biodiversity in the Neotropics by working in several ways. NPC uses monkeys…

TiME ∙ Jul 4

6 min read

An electronic music party raises funds for TiME, and ocean animals are the performers

“An organism is an evening dedicated entirely to the seam between the animal and the life. A protected space where algorithms can flourish and animals know how to play.” This is how artist Tomer Baruch introduces the party that will take place on the night of July 4 in Tel Aviv. Co-organized by the good…

TiME ∙ Jun 26

2 min read

Ask This is My Earth for funding: Here is how

This is My Earth is always actively looking for new nature conservation projects that have a key scientific and environmental interest. As you know, ours is a crowdfunding system through which empowered citizens around the world make small (or large) donations, as a gift, individually or in group, and vote on which nature conservation project…

TiME ∙ Jun 22

2 min read

What can YOU do to protect the planet? Join TiME’s team and help us spread the word through a monthly newsletter!

This is My Earth (TiME) is looking for a volunteer to craft their monthly newsletter to members. TiME is a non-profit, international environmental organization that seeks to protect biodiversity by purchasing land for conservation in biodiversity hotspots, in collaboration with local communities and organizations. Join our team and help TiME spread the word about: ·…

TiME ∙ Jun 19

22 min read

“Insects have survived the last five mass extinctions our planet has faced; but this time is different”

Dave Goulson (born 30 July 1965)  is Professor of Biology (Evolution, Behaviour and Environment) at the University of Sussex. Specializing in the ecology and conservation of insects, particularly bumblebees, Goulson is the author of several books, including Bumblebees: Their Behaviour and Ecology (2003), Silent Earth: Averting the Insect Apocalypses (2021), and more than 200 academic articles. In 2006 he founded the Bumblebee Conservation Trust,…

TiME ∙ Jun 14

2 min read

The first international meeting of TiME volunteers puts Communication on the agenda

The first international meeting of volunteers of This is My Earth · TiME was held in virtual format on June 13th. People from all over the world, under the coordination of the organization’s Director of Volunteers, Reut Gilad, contributed their ideas and visions on communication, collaboration and how to grow the conservation project for almost…

TiME ∙ Jun 13

3 min read

We have created This is My Earth’s Annual Report for you

This is My Earth 2021 annual report collects the most relevant milestones achieved by the organization in the fields of conservation and biodiversity. It is open access and contains a fully transparent report.

TiME ∙ May 22

7 min read

𝗕𝘂𝗶𝗹𝗱𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗮 𝗦𝗵𝗮𝗿𝗲𝗱 𝗙𝘂𝘁𝘂𝗿𝗲 𝗙𝗼𝗿 𝗔𝗹𝗹 𝗟𝗶𝗳𝗲: This is our TiME List of protected animals

Since This is My Earth started saving lands in danger in 2016, the list of species and animals that have since been protected has not stopped growing. The international motto chosen for Biodiversity Day 2022 is𝗕𝘂𝗶𝗹𝗱𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗮 𝗦𝗵𝗮𝗿𝗲𝗱 𝗙𝗼𝗿 𝗔𝗹𝗹 𝗟𝗶𝗳𝗲, and its objective is to promote the idea that we are all part of…

TiME ∙ Apr 18

7 min read

Join EARTH DAY global campaign to #InvestInOurPlanet – Download our Action Toolkit!

This is My Earth joins #InvestInOurPlanet campaign on the occasion of the Earth Day 2022 with a video and materials created by our network of volunteers.

TiME ∙ Mar 16

4 min read

Some highlights from the IPCC Climate Report

The Working Group from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) from the United Nations invited TiME · This Is My Earth as a guest organization at the press conference where the 6TH ASSESSMENT REPORT – Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability was presented. On 27 February 2022, this international Working Group from the United Nations finalized…

TiME ∙ Feb 22

7 min read

History of the region’s Cacau-cabruca · Chronicles from Brazil

In 2020, hundreds of volunteers from all over the world helped us save an endangered land in the Sierra Bonita area of ​​Brazil (Google Maps +). Together, through TiME, we raised US$ 148,373 which helped Instituto Uiraçu organization – our partner in the area – to get down to work with the task of preserving…

TiME ∙ Feb 22

9 min read

Biodiversity faces its make-or-break year

The  United Nations decade-old plan to slow down and eventually stop the decline of species and ecosystems by 2020 has failed as most of the plan’s 20 targets have not been met. Among the strategic goals which have not been accomplished, there is the need to address the underlying causes of biodiversity loss by mainstreaming biodiversity…

TiME ∙ Feb 20

3 min read

Scientists map 80% of unknown species

New map shows where the 80% of species we don’t know about may be hiding in the very interesting study "Shortfalls and opportunities in terrestrial vertebrate species".

TiME ∙ Dec 30

9 min read

TiME’s Newsletters

Here you will find links to the 50+ newsletters we have published in recent years. Don’t miss the opportunity, if you haven’t already, to register and receive our emails with our latest updates, news and campaigns in our action of nature protection, education and solidarity. 2021 December 2021 – Let’s go viral September 2021 – Nature based…

TiME ∙ Dec 29

2 min read

The ecological impact of war in Africa

Today’s declining number of large mammals around the world has been explained by many factors, including low reproductive rates, habitat destruction, and overhunting. However, uncertainties about the effects of armed conflict has complicated conservation planning and priority-setting efforts. In the past 70 years, humans have waged war continuously in the world’s most biodiverse regions. Between…

TiME ∙ Nov 30

6 min read

This is My Earth in Kenya with Professor Uri Shanas

The following interview with founder and co-chair Uri Shanas was published in our August 2016 newsletter: Hello, Uri. You’ve recently returned from Kenya. Can you tell us why you went? Kenya is one of the last places on earth where one can experience nature in all its might and beauty, so I was excited to visit TiME’s…

TiME ∙ Nov 29

3 min read

Chatting with Jasmine, a 12-year old TiME supporter

We spoke to Jasmine, daughter of two of TiME’s Board of Directors, Ondine Sherman and Dror Ben-Ami. She recently donated 1800 NIS (about 470 USD) to TiME, nearly a third of the gift money she received for her Bat Mitzvah. First of all, we asked Jasmine to explain a Bat Mitzvah: Jasmine: “In Jewish culture,…

TiME ∙ Nov 28

3 min read

A visit to TiME’s first biodiversity hotspot land purchase

“Please, Nestor, please continue to point out the orchid flowers,” I cried almost breathlessly to the CEO of Neotropical Primate Conservation (NPC) while we climbed up the land TiME had just purchased. “You know we both need these stops so we can catch our breath.” Nestor Allgas and I were trying to keep pace with…

TiME ∙ Nov 25

1 min read

Protecting megafauna and raising money for conservation

This piece was published in our March 2017 newsletter:

TiME ∙ Nov 21

4 min read

Ivory Belongs to Elephants

Since the dawn of humanity, we have been actively fighting nature: drying swamps, cutting down forests, using strong pesticides (such as DDT) and hunting wildlife to extinction (think of the dodo, Tasmanian tiger, passenger pigeon and many, many more). Today, experts believe that we are facing a sixth mass extinction, which is entirely attributable to…

TiME ∙ Nov 20

6 min read

Gold in Africa – an interview with Henry Gold, TiME board member

For TiME’s February 2017 newsletter we interviewed board member Henry Gold, co-founder of Canadian Physician for Aid and Relief (CPAR)and TDA Global Cycling: You worked in Africa for quite a few years. Can you tell us what kind of work you were doing? I’m trained as an engineer, but in 1984 I quit engineering and…

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