The habitat of the Yellow-Eared Conure is the high Andes Mountains of Colombia and Ecuador. This bird is heavily dependent upon the wax palm (Ceroxylum quindiuense) for food and nesting.

Colombia is a nation of rich biological diversity. It has 1,850 species of birds, 358 kinds of mammals and more than 45,000 types of plants. However, the precious ecosystem of the Andes Mountains and adjacent valleys is in grave danger. Most of this is due to deforestation.

Over the past 150 years, 80 percent of the woodlands have been cleared for farming and cattle ranching. This loss of habitat in part has caused 80 of Colombia's native birds to become in danger of extinction. Other animals and plants also are endangered. Perhaps less than 5% of the Yellow-Eared Conure's natural habitat remains today. And even much of this habitat has seen some form of human activities.

 The endangered wax palm is Colombia's national tree. The populations of this tree are aging and not being replaced with younger palms. The livestock feeding in the pastures eat the palm seedlings, thus preventing their growth and natural replacement of the forest. Continued deforestation and fragmentation of the wax palms leaves them highly susceptible to disease.

The need for conservation of this unique habitat is immediate and critical.  

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