Ecuador is home to approximately 16,708 vascular plant species (Jørgensen & León-Yánez, 1999), including more than 4,500 endemic species. It is estimated that every year 250,000 hectares are deforested in Ecuador. In 1999, a group of botanists concerned with the rapid forest conversion, joined forces to compile previously undocumented information, data, and field experiences to guide plant conservation initiatives. As part of this effort, the Red Book of Endemic Plants of Ecuador initiative was officially launched in 1999 and the first edition was published by Valencia et al. in 2000.
Red Lists, a component of the Red Book of Endemic Plants of Ecuador, were recognized as an official document through the Art.1 Res.50 of the Ecuadorian Forestry Law. The users of this list should be aware that red lists are extremely dynamic due to the changes in taxonomical and population information and especially to habitat conversion. This section is devoted to the endemic orchids of Ecuador only. This is a collaboration effort of several orchid taxonomists and institutions, led by the QCA Herbarium, that evaluated, produced and edited the red list of the endemic orchids of Ecuador.
Provide information of the endemic orchids of Ecuador to encourage, assess and guide conservation efforts of Ecuadorian Biodiversity.
The following persons collaborated in different phases of the second edition of the Red List of Endemic Orchids of Ecuador
Chondrorhyncha: Alexander Reynolds (Reserva Siempre Verde)
Dichaea: Kurt Neubig (FLAS)
Epidendrum: Eric Hágsater (AMO)
Lockhartia: Mario Blanco (FLAS)
Maxillaria: Mark Whitten (FLAS) & Mario Blanco (FLAS)
Phragmipedium: Phillip Cribb (K), Calaway Dodson
Orchids of the Jocotoco Reserva: Lou Jost (Ecominga) & Nigel Simpson
Orchids of coastal Ecuador: Xavier Cornejo (GUAY)
Revision of threatened categories and other genera: Lorena Endara (FLAS), Alexander Hirtz y Lou Jost (Ecominga)
-Jørgensen, P.M. & S. León-Yánez. 1999. Catalogue of Vascular Plants of Ecuador. Missouri Botanical Garden Press. St. Louis, Missouri, USA.
-Valencia , R. N. Pitman, S. León-Yánez & P.M.Jφrgensen. 2000. Libro Rojo de las Plantas Endémicas del Ecuador 2000. Publications of QCA Herbarium, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador, Quito.