Mindo Cloudforest FoundationWith members from 6 countries, MCF enters its 18th year of activities as a multidisciplinary team: Ornithologists, ecologists, conservationists, artists, a physicist, a forestry specialist, an historian and an eco-tourism entrepreneur or two. Men, women, Ecuadorians, North-Americans, Germans, a Frenchman, an Irishman and an Aussie, our diversity is our strength! Coming soon: new opportunities to join us and become a supporting member! Please keep your eyes peeled.
Our Mission, History and Expertise
To help preserve the biodiversity of our amazing slice of the Andes.
Begun in 2000 as the Mindo Working Group, this small non-profit has had legal status in Ecuador since December, 2001.
The legal structure of an Ecuadorian foundation differs somewhat from that typically found in the USA. In essence, our 16 legally registered members in Ecuador constitute our "board."
Later, in 2013 we formed an affiliate foundation in the USA, Friends of Mindo Cloud Forest. Friends received its 501(c)(3) status in 2014, and is building a conservation support network for us.
Perhaps you would like to join, becoming a supporting member, and so help us write the next chapter of this story?
We purchased the first part of the property now known as the Milpe Bird Sanctuary in early 2004 and since have added 5 more reserves at different altitudinal levels.
More elements of our history can be found throughout this site.
We own and operate 6 forest reserves as conservation reserves and birding and ecotourism destinations. These reserves are arrayed on a loose altitudinal transect on the West slope of the Andes in NW Ecuador. Combined, our 16 members have about two centuries of experience in the field in Ecuador. Combined our reserves have a bird list on the order of 600 species including 2 IUCN Red List Endangered birds, many endemics and migrants, an amazing array of biodiversity by any standard.
Beyond our hands-on experience we´re working with various universities on three continents to continue inquiring into the ecology of this highly biodiverse area and the natural history of its denizens. We also participate in citizen science efforts like the Audubon Christmas Count from a circle we created around our headquarters. We also have recently begun participating in iNaturalist.org´s worldwide platform with a project around tree phenology.
Not only are we the authors of Ecuador´s Official National Avitourism Strategy, we own and operate forest reserves as birding and ecotourism destinations. We authored Ecuador´s national avitourism strategy in 2006 and its update in 2010. Also, via Municipal and Provincial contracts we give introduction to birding courses for rural communities, and the public in general.
Reforestation & Restoration
We run Ecuador´s first and only Verified Carbon Standard, validated, reforestation project for climate change mitigation. With funding from Europe and the USA, as well as important local counterparts, we´re planting native species trees.