We’re protecting and growing the highly threatened Magnolia buenaventurensis tree population

  • Ecuador
We aim to raise 20,000 EUR to prevent the immediate extinction of the recently discovered Magnolia buenaventurensis.
Funding status

What will we do?

The Magnolia buenaventurensis was discovered in our local partner’s Buenaventura Reserve (Ecuador) in 2022. The M. buenaventurensis is at risk of extinction, though: despite intensive search actions, only 26 trees have been found in remnants of the region’s once vast forests. To revert this, our partner Jocotoco aims to assure the survival of the species by

  • Surveying new areas to locate other surviving trees
  • Protecting the remaining trees
  • Increasing the population with 2,000 saplings through seed collection, propagation and enrichment planting in the Buenaventura reserve and surrounding areas

Without these actions the risk of losing this magnificent species in a region where deforestation is a major threat, is enormous.

Magnolia buenaventurensis

This project in numbers


the number of Magnolia buenaventurensis trees found so far


new Magnolia buenaventurensis saplings will be planted

About the Buenaventura reserve

Buenaventura, with its 3,500 hectares of protected forest and located in the Tumbes-Chocó Magdalena Biodiversity Hotspot, is a crucial refuge for a wide range of species. Deforestation is a major threat to the region, with a staggering 95% decline in forests below 900 meters since the 1950s. The remaining forest fragments continue to disappear at an alarming rate, due to the expansion of agriculture and mining projects.

The reserve is the only fully protected reserve in the region, and therefore the only place where the permanent protection of M. buenaventurensis, a flagstone species for the region, and many other endemic and threatened species can be guaranteed.

The reserve hosts 361 bird species, 15 of which are classified as globally threatened. Notable among these avian inhabitants are the endangered El Oro Parakeet and Ecuadorian Tapaculo, both of which possess significant populations within Buenaventura. The Buenaventura Reserve forms the Important Bird Area IBA EC071 and the Key Biodiversity Area KBA 14526.

Buenaventura Reserve (Ecuador)

Did you know?

Magnolia trees are one of the oldest flowering trees. They evolved when highly specialized pollinators such as bees and butterflies still didn’t exist. Magnolia trees had to depend on beetles for pollination, leading to the evolution of large flowers with thick petals which can endure the more clumsy pollination work of beetles.   

Your contact person

Do you have questions about this project or would you like to set up a collaboration? Reach out to Raf. He’ll be happy to give you all details you need.

Raf Stassen

Other projects