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Into the Heart of Ecuador’s Yasuni

Few places on earth harbor as much biodiversity as Ecuador’s Yasuni Biosphere Reserve, which sits atop vast deposits of oil and now faces intense development pressure. In a Yale Environment 360 video, filmmaker Ryan Killackey travels to the heart of Yasuni with scientists inventorying its stunning wildlife and plants. The researchers hope their work will bolster initiatives to preserve this threatened land.

Few places on earth harbor as much biodiversity as the Yasuni Biosphere Reserve, a 6,500-square-mile territory in eastern Ecuador where the Amazon basin ascends into the Andes Mountains. But Yasuni also sits atop vast reserves of oil, and this rainforest wilderness, home to the indigenous Waorani people, faces intense development pressure.

In this Yale Environment 360 video, filmmaker Ryan Killackey travels into the heart of Yasuni with seven scientists and chronicles their work as they inventory the reserve’s remarkable birds, fish, animals, and plants. Through their work, the researchers hope to bolster international initiatives to preserve a large swath of this threatened land.