Our reader photo of the day is a love letter to one of the most biodiverse places on the planet.
The Hotel Zaracay salamander, Bolitoglossa chica – pictured here in a photo by James H. Muchmore Jr. – makes its home in Ecuador's Chocó region. The area is one of the most biodiverse places in the world, with 9,000 species of vascular plants, 270 species of mammals, 210 species of reptiles, 500 species of birds and 130 species of amphibians. It's a singular place with many endemic species, and under heartbreaking threat from deforestation – in fact, only 5 percent of the original forest remains. Which makes life hard for B. chica, a creature that is currently listed at Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List.
Thankfully there are people trying to save the region, visit savethechoco.com for more and to help out before it's too late.
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