volunteersThe Coastal Wet Forest Reserve, Bilsa Biological Station, was established in 1994, it's the leading field research station in Western Ecuador and protects the last remnants of rainforest in the province of Esmeraldas. It is located approximately 30 km from Quinindé and 30 km from the coast, and covers 3300 hectares of which 80% is primary forest and 20% is secondary forest.

Bilsa is situated within a larger conservation area, the Mache Chindul Ecological Reserve, which has an extension of 120.000 hectares . The whole area is part of the Chocó-Darien bio-region (of Central and South America), which is considered one of the 25 hot spots in the world for its great biodiversity and high level of endemism of flora/fauna species. 

Projects and activities:
• Reforestation of 100 ha (IUCN Netherlands, SwedAid among others), 125 ha (FACE - Netherlands), 275 ha (CI-Climate Change) and 20 ha (Rainforest Concern).

• Agroforestry project near the cabin complex, which includes 90 tropical fruit and nut tree species.

• Various ongoing bird studies (Long Wattled Umbrella Bird, Purple Throated Fruitcrow, Banded Ground Cuckoo, Green Manakin).

• Phenology studies.

• Natural regeneration studies

bilsa-homepageSo far, more than 45 species of mammals have been identified, including jaguar, puma, ocelot, jaguarundi, howler monkey and anteater, and more than 330 bird species among with the Long Wattled Umbrella Bird and the Banded Ground Cuckoo. With 97 different species recorded until now, Bilsa is the most diverse area for herpetofauna in North Western Ecuador.

There are more than 90 tree species per hectare and around 2.000 plant species of which more than 30 are new to science. During a recent study 380 species of epiphytes were recorded, of which 114 species are orchids.

Community work in ten bordering towns has included nutritional training, environmental education, agroforestry, health programs and handicraft production. A new community project will include further eco-tourism development.

Welcome, Everyone


 Greetings! - Great Wilderness continues to work on biodiversity preservation in both Ecuador and Venezuela. We are succeeding in our mission to "Help People Help Nature."

 Please consider donating to Great Wilderness. It is easy to go to our website and donate. Thanks in advance for any help you can give to our organization.

 Volunteer and Internship Program

Our goal is to support, strengthen and enhance our partners conservation program by sending individuals interested in working and supporting the protection of Ecuador and Venezuela native forest and ecosystems. (Read more)


The Parrotlet Project


Do Parrots Name Their Babies?

While studying Green-rumplet Parrolets in Venezuela, National Geographic Explorer and Great Wilderness Board member, Dr. Karl Berg, discovered an incredibly rare behavior.

The Parrolet Project (Video)

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Forest Fund

Dear Family and Friends,


Earth Day 2018 marks the celebration of a two-year partnership with Forest Fund. Forest Fund supports conservation of the Amazon rainforest in Brazil with the help of Great Wilderness and donors worldwide. Together we are turning landowners into forest protectors by providing opportunity cost payments to the landowner to keep the forest standing in one of the most ecologically important and threatened areas of the world. Read more     



Please consider supporting our efforts.