Andean Cloud Forest

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in Andean Cloud Forest

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Ecuador’s cloud forests cover the slopes of the Andes from around 3,000 to 8,500 feet. They provide a cool and humid environment with frequent canopy-level cloud cover, which creates conditions for so-called megadiversity. Ecuador has the most biodiversity per square mile of any nation in the world. In addition to 1,600 mainland bird species — 15 percent of the world’s total — it can boast more than 16,000 plant species, 150 endemic reptiles, 200 endemic amphibians and 6,000 butterfly species. Infrequently seen mammals include the puma and the endangered spectacled bear. A hike after sunset will reveal unique insects and spiders, as well as eerie bioluminescent fungus.