Where to Spot the Spectacled Bear in Colombia?

One of the smallest bear species, the Spectacled Bear or Andean Bear is recognized as the guardian of the Andes and gardener par excellence. We invite you to discover this species that inhabits the Colombian territory and other South American countries.

Spectacled bear Facts

  1. South America: The spectacled bear or Andean bear (Tremarctos ornatus) is native to South America;
  2. Endemic: It is the only species of bear that inhabits South America, and it is endemic to the tropical Andes.
  3. Ancient: It has inhabited South America for more than five million years.
  4. Last of its kind: It is the only living representative of the short-nosed bears, a group that inhabited only the American continent.
  5. Big Territories: This bear needs large areas to be able to feed and look for mates.
  6. Forest Engineer: The Andean bear has an efficient role as a seed disperser, making it fundamental for paramo and the Andean Forest.
  7. Wide distribution: The spectacled bear is present in the forests of Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina (in the northern forests) and Colombia (with presence in the 3 mountain ranges, in protected areas).
  8. Highlander: They are able to live at altitudes of up to 4,750 meters above sea level and it is not normal for them to frequent altitudes below 2000 meters.
  9. Bioindicator: the presence of Spectacled bears indicates the availability of water and that nearby forests are in perfect condition.

Characteristics of the Spectacled Bear

Spectacled Bear rescued at La Planada Nature Reserve. Itd name is Arcoiris (Rainbow)
Spectacled Bear rescued at La Planada Nature Reserve. Its name is Arcoiris (Rainbow)

One of the most important characteristics is the presence of white fur around the eyes in a circular shape, making its shape like that of a pair of glasses. There are many specimens where this white fur extends to the chest.

The size, coloration and shape of these white spots are usually different in each individual and are characteristics that are often used for identification at this level. The rest of their body fur is dark brown or black.

They are a very small species of bear; adult males reach a size of 100 to 200 kilograms while adult female spectacled bears weigh only 30 to 85 kilograms.

It is a species that normally remains alone, only when the female is in mating season can be observed accompanied. Spectacled bears only remain with their mother until they are one and a half years old, after which they separate from the litter.

Spectacled bears reach sexual maturity between 4 and 7 years of age. It is known that they can mate at any time of the year, although the highest reproductive activity is registered in April and June. Usually a female gives birth to a litter of 2 cubs, but sometimes 3 cubs are born after a gestation period of 5.5-8.5 months.

It is not aggressive, you may be surprised to find a bear that by instinct will stand on two legs when it feels invaded in its space or confused by the intruder in its habitat, but it will not try to attack if it sees a distant and clueless individual.

Where to Find the Spectacled bear in Colombia

There are many places in Colombia where the Andean bear is distributed, but seeing it is a fortuitous event. The places where you can have more luck to see the Spectacled bear in Colombia are:

Natural National Park Chingaza

During hiking activities in the páramo it is possible to see Andean bears directly or indirectly. Also on the trails you may be able to see tracks on the ground, scratches on the trees, territory marking, bedding and feeding troughs.

Surroundings of the Natural National Park Las Orquideas

Since 2016 there is registration in this protected area of the bear, so that in the stipulated trails there is evidence of the presence of bears; on very few occasions visitors have been able to make a direct sighting; the park caretakers if they have had the opportunity to see families of bears.

El Verjón, Near Bogota

This is the first time that the spectacled bear has been seen so close to an urban area; last July. 2021, a surprising spectacled bear was seen walking in the Cerros Orientales of the city of Bogotá. The sighting of the animal was recorded in a security camera video.

Municipality of Íquira

In the buffer zone of the Cerro Banderas Ojo Blanco Regional Integrated Management District (DRMI) and Nevado del Huila National Natural Park, a male bear was spotted by camera traps. In the department of Huila there are other municipalities where records of this endangered species have been documented in Santa María, Garzón, Guadalupe, Neiva, Algeciras, Colombia, Palermo, Teruel, Pitalito and San Agustín.

Threats to the Spectacled Bear

Currently, human encroachment on the spectacled bear’s habitat has caused a high percentage of deforestation, due to the increase of the agricultural frontier, which has caused the bears to move to higher and higher areas in the mountain range.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development have catalogued the spectacled bear as a species vulnerable to extinction.

Biological Corridor in Colombia for the Spectacled Bear

When we talk about a biological corridor is habitat for different species of wildlife, this time we will tell you the one that has the spectacled bear, tremarctos ornatus by the southwest and west of the department of Antioquia. This corridor can be identified in the following municipalities:

  • Jardín – Tamesis ( 28061 ha).
  • Andes – Betania – Ciudad Bolivar ( Farallones del Citará 30875 ha)
  • Salgar – Betulia (Cuchilla cerro plateado alto San José 8900 ha)
  • Urrao (29870 ha)
  • Anzá- Caicedo – Santa Fe de Antioquia (10087 ha)
  • Las Orquideas NPP (32000 ha )
  • Frontino ( 30139 ha)
  • Abraqui – Cañas Gordas – Giraldo ( 6900)

Currently the department of Antioquia is promoting a project for the conservation of the spectacled bear corridor, promoting:

  • The restoration of the forests
  • The protection and monitoring of the species present.
  • Establishing limits of the biological corridor and monitoring compliance.
  • Controlling the expansion of the agricultural frontier.
  • Constant education of the community in the conservation and protection of the biological corridor.
  • Development of projects for sustainable agricultural practices.

Ecological importance and importance in cultural and nature tourism

In addition to its ecological importance, the Andean bear has also been an emblematic animal, involved in the development of many of the indigenous and peasant cultures in the Andean countries. For many it is sacred, for others the big brother of the human being. In the oral traditions of the peoples, the bear is found in legends, tales, songs and myths.

The Andean bear is reflected in the common names of some plants, such as “la mano de oso” (Oreopanax bogotensis) and “la hierba del oso” (Xerophyllum tenax).

It is also very common to find sites or places that receive their names honoring the Andean bear: Alto del Oso (Colombia), Cueva del Oso (Ecuador), Quebrada El Oso (Colombia, Peru, Venezuela), Vereda del Oso (Colombia), among others. Thus, the Andean bear is part of the cultural heritage and worldview of the countries of the Andean region.

About the author

Luisa Martin

Engineer, world traveler, amateur photographer, traveling blogger, and foody.

Sara Colmenares

The current director of Sula. Doctor in Biological Sciences. Her main interests are to explore and understand the organism-environment interactions, taking advantage of emerging knowledge for the management and conservation of species and ecosystem services. She is currently working as a consultant in functional ecology, ecosystem services, and conservation projects in Colombia related to ecotourism and birdwatching.

What to Know Before Visiting Puracé National Natural Park

The name “Puracé” comes from the ancient local dialect “Quechua”, and stands for “mountain of fire”. This name was assigned to the Puracé National Natural Park. This park is located in the Andean Region of Colombia, southeast of the city of Popayán. Its main attraction is the Puracé volcano, one of Colombia’s most active volcanoes.

Discovering Puracé National Natural Park

Puracé National Natural Park is located in the central mountain range of the Colombian Andes. In the southwest of the department of Huila and nearby the archaeological park of San Agustin.

Its area of 830 km2 is shared between the departments of Cauca and Huila. Inside the park is the Puracé Volcano, which is one of the most active volcanoes in Colombia.

Moreover, the volcanic chain of the Coconucos, known as Serranía de Los Coconucos, also originates in Puracé and it’s comprised of 12 volcanoes; the most notable being the so-called Sugar Loaf (5,000 m), the Purace (4,780 m) that is the only active one, and the Coconuco (4,600 m).

Thus, the place is full of more than 50 lagoons and because of its volcanic nature, hundreds of “Sulphur” springs, which can be visited along the natural reserve.

Purace is also well known because 4 of the most important rivers in Colombia are born there: Magdalena, Cauca, Patia, and Caquetá.

The park has a great abundance of ecosystems, including paramo, super-paramo, snow, and rainforest. Endangered plant species such as the Colombian pine, oak, and wax palm are part of the protected area.

How to get to The Puracé National Natural Park

Bogotá – Popayan Route

Take a 1.5-hour flight from Bogotá to Guillermo León Valencia Airport (PPN) at Popayan city. From Popayan, take an approximately 5,5-hour ride to Puracé. Once at Puracé you should take an extra 40-minute car ride to the administrative center of Pilimbalá.

At Pilimbalá, first register at the National Natural Park checkpoint to access Puracé National Natural Park. At Pilimbalá you can enjoy some food at local restaurants, thermal pools, and the beautiful fauna and flora.

Bogota – Cali Route

Take a 1-hour flight from Bogotá to Alfonso Bonilla Aragón International Airport (CLO) at Cali city. From Cali, take an approximately 1,5-hour ride to Puracé (233 km). Once at Puracé you should take an extra 40 minutes car ride to the administrative center of Pilimbalá.

The trip continues the same from this point, as in the previous alternative.

Andean Condor

What to do in the Puracé National Natural Park

This is a place impregnated by the indigenous tradition of the region. There, everything is intimately linked to the creator gods, mother nature, and life.

Hiking and Trekking

Hiking is the most exciting activity to do at Puracé National Natural Park. You can hike through 5 trails:

Puracé volcano crater trail

The day starts at 4:30 a.m. with hot drinks and energy bars. The hike is approximately 2 hours long. The crater is 4,673 meters above sea level, and the trail is considered of medium difficulty. During the hike, you will be able to appreciate small glacier lagoons and snow-covered volcanic ash deposits.

Coconucos crater trail

Covering a distance of approximately 6 km over the volcanic chain, this trail allows visiting 6 extinct craters of ancient volcanoes and dry lagoons with volcanic ash. The hike is 6 hours long.

The Buey (Ox) Lagoon

After hiking for 20 minutes you will have the opportunity to see a spectacular lagoon with dimensions the size of an old volcanic crater. There you can have contact with orchids, birds; this area is full of native species such as bears, deers, and rabbits.

Whitestone trail

Take a 20-minute walk to Pilimbalá, a beautiful viewpoint to check the marvelous Andean Condor (the world´s largest flying bird). You may have to wait a few minutes to be able to observe the flight of this beautiful bird.

Birdwatching and Wildlife Observation

Observing a great variety of wildlife is possible on each of these trails. If lucky, you could come across mammals such as bears, otters, deers, pumas, and the paramo tapir. Regarding flora, the Colombian pine (Podocarpus oleifolius), oak, (Quercus humboldtii), wax palm (Ceroxylon spp) and tree fern (Cyathea spp) are abundant.

Note that this area is home to more than 200 species of orchids, a natural wonder not be found in any other part of the world.

Purace is also one of the places you can observe the Andean Condor in Colombia. It is a recommended and also complementary destination if you are on a birdwatching tour in Valle del Cauca or Narino.

Hot Springs – Lakes and Volcanoes in Puracé-Coconuco

Visit the Puracé Volcano and the Laguna Andulvio (San Rafael)

The imposing volcano is linked to the Andulvio lagoon. This couple (volcano and lagoon) are children of the Puraceños. The lagoon means the place where the nymph of the waters lives, goddess of the locals.

San Antonio Waterfall

Near the town of Puracé the dark Vinagre River rushes, after having traveled from the slopes of the Puracé Volcano, through rocky and canyoned areas forming a beautiful waterfall. It is so-called because, according to indigenous legend, Saint Anthony appears there during Holy Week. It is also believed that when visiting the waterfall, singles can make a wish to find the partner of their dreams and the wish will be granted.

The condor of the Andes

Known as the “lord and master of the heights or messenger of the sun”, a symbol of freedom and purity. In the indigenous reserve of Puracé, for more than twelve (12) years the repopulation of the species has been advancing. You can make sightings along the majestic canyon of the San Francisco River, commonly known as the refuge of the condor of the Andes.

The Ox Lagoon

Located in the southeast of the municipality of Puracé, ancestral territory of the Kokonuko Yanacona people. It is immense, in the summer season it is seen in the blue sky, surrounded by places and abundant native vegetation; it is called the Ox because the older ancestors say they have seen an ox in the lagoon.

For the indigenous people, the lagoon is the woman of the Pan de Azular volcano, mother of the Kokonukos Yanaconas tribes, who today live in the Paletara Valley. There, the majestic and virtuous Cauca River also begins to make its way, which runs its first kilometers through a peaceful landscape of paramo.

The Green Lagoon (Laguna Verde)

Located to the north in the indigenous reservation of Paletara. A charming place colored by the presence and influence of green algae, the greenish-yellow of the mosses and lichens with the shade of blue water, and accompanied by streams of sulfur water, offering a polychrome landscape of rapture.

Thermal baths of Casa Quinta

Thermal water loosening, located in the indigenous reservation of Paletara. With 22 degrees Celsius, this place is an ideal scenario for recreation, rest, but above all to meet with the spirit of life and appreciate the goodness that nature offers us.


Consisting of three beautiful lagoons, located north of the Andulvio Lagoon. There you can see the Torrent Duck.

Candelaria waterfall

Located in the village of Santa Leticia, Bella Vista, the waterfall is formed by the precipitation of the Candelaria River, giving rise to a fantastic fall of more than 100 meters high. In this place, the Pijaos and Augustinians worshipped the Sun God and the Moon God.

Where to stay in The Puracé National Natural Park

In the Puracé sector, it is possible to find different hotels for individual accommodation. Suggested choices are:

In the facilities of Natural National Parks, it is possible to find cabins for groups of no more than 7 people.

Entrance fees

The entrance fee varies depending on the nationality and age of the visitors. These are the entrance fees for 2021:

  • Colombians, foreigners holding a residence permit, and tourists from Bolivia, Ecuador, and Peru (ages 5 to 25): COP 5,500
  • Colombians, foreigners holding a residence permit, and tourists from Bolivia, Ecuador, and Peru (over 25 years old): COP 11,500
  • Non-resident foreigners (over 5 years old): COP 27,500
  • Children under 5 years old and Colombians over 65 years old have free entrance presenting their IDs.

What to consider before visiting Puracé National Natural Park

  • Book your reservation in advance with authorized ecotourism operators.
  • Wear suitable clothing for cold weather, rubber BOOTS, waterproof
  • Take reusable bottles along to store water;
  • Pets are forbidden to enter the protected area.
  • Limestone formations in the caves are not to be touched;
  • Keep away from making any marks on trees, stones, or infrastructure available.
  • Noises or sounds that disturb the environment are not allowed.
  • Return ALL garbage you generate during the tour with you and dispose of it at the waste disposal sites.
  • Admission of children under 5 years old, pregnant women, people with heart or respiratory conditions is not recommended.
  • To make any of the tours inside the park you must do with an authorized and certified guide.
  • Avoid taking night walks on the trails.
  • Do not bring firearms or sharp edges into park facilities.

Some prohibitions:

Feeding, bothering, or hunting animals, littering, pets, horses, alcoholic drinks and drugs, making bonfires, throwing cigarette butts, burning garbage, felling, and capturing wildlife.

  • Colombia Natural Parks System Website.
About the authors

Luisa Martin
Engineer, world traveler, amateur photographer, traveling blogger, and foody.

The Central Andes Birding Trail of Colombia: Coffee and Birds!

The Central Andes Birding Trail of Colombia is probably one of the most wonderful and complete birdwatching tourism routes in Colombia since it gathers a great diversity of environments and all the richness of the Colombian coffee cultural landscape, the heritage of Colombia, and humanity.

The Central Andes are basically composed of the proximity between the 3 mountain ranges of Colombia, which occurs precisely in the departments of Caldas, Quindio, and Risaralda. Watch our video below and know more about these beautiful departments of Colombia.

In this region, you have contact with the inter-Andean valleys of the Magdalena and Cauca rivers, and you can go from zero to 5000 meters above sea level. These characteristics make this region concentrate a high variety of ecosystems and unique environments ranging from the transition dry forests of the inter-Andean valleys through the Andean cloud forests, to the paramos and the perpetual snows.

The most relevant birding hotspots of this route are the Magdalena Valley Endemic Bird Area, the Choco Forest, and the paramos. In particular, in the western Andes, the Chocó ecoregion has a unique avifauna. Also, the páramo, an ecosystem above 3000 m, is full of range-restricted endemics and area specialists.

Paraphrasing Audubon, this is a land of endemic hummingbirds, colorful tanagers, singing antpittas and gorgeous parrots!

The Central Andes Birding Trail

Once again, the National Audubon Society of the United States was involved in the design of this route along with Colombian institutions and Government, training about 60 service providers linked to the birding offer in the region, including guides, lodging and nature reserve owners, local travel agencies and community-based tourism associations:

“The Central Andes Birding Trail was developed in partnership with Audubon’s Birdlife International partner Asociación Calidris, with support from the Ministry of Commerce and Tourism and FONTUR, Colombia’s Tourism Fund. The trail is network of Audubon-trained professional birding guides and operators, sites such as national parks and private reserves, and small businesses and support services. Bird-focused tourism benefits local communities and organizations such as the Yarumo Blanco Community Association, which works directly on local conservation issues and community development in and around the Otún Quimbaya Sanctuary.”


Among the places to be visited are included national parks, civil society nature reserves, private reserves, farms, and sanctuaries. And why not? you can also include some coffee farms that, although not officially part of the itinerary of the Central Andes Birding Trail, we highly recommend you to visit.

Small Area – Huge Diversity

This is a region of approximately 13880 square kilometers, an area similar to the area of Puerto Rico or the state of Connecticut, or even the Death Valley National Park in California and Nevada in the United States. And it is surprising that in this relatively small area there is so much diversity.

For this reason, on this trip you will be able to combine a great variety of destinations where each place has its own specialties; do not think that because it is such a small area you will not find a great diversity. You are in Colombia!

It is precisely this richness of landscape and birdlife, together with the cultural richness and the hospitality of the people of the Colombian coffee region, which gives this birding route in Colombia a very special character.

Birding Spots of The Central Andes Birding Trail

You should know that in this region there is a wide range of destinations for bird watching tourism, however not all of them are included in the itinerary designed for this trail.

The reason for this is most likely due to the difficulty of access or lack of hotel infrastructure or roads that prevent these places have minimum standards for high standard tourism, or the basics for the birdwatchers.

This does not mean that these places cannot be visited, but you will have to be prepared for difficult terrain or to have to travel long distances the same day or stay in rural houses or farms of medium to low infrastructure.

In our blogs about each department, you can find the complete offer of birding destinations in each of them. I recommend you to visit our entries 9.5% of the Birds of the World: Main Spots for Birdwatching in Caldas and Top 7 Unmissable Birding Spots in Risaralda in the Coffee Triangle.

Highlight Species of The Central Andes Birding Trail

Among the almost a thousand birds you can find in this route, the most highlighted are Northern Screamer, Cauca Guan, Colombian Chachalaca, Chestnut Wood-Quail, Buffy Helmetcrest, Dusky Starfrontlet, Spot-crowned Barbet, White-mantled Barbet, Toucan Barbet, Black-billed Mountain-Toucan, Grayish Piculet, Beautiful Woodpecker, Rufous-fronted Parakeet, Rusty-faced Parrot, Indigo-winged (Fuerte’s) Parrot, Yellow-eared Parrot, Parker’s Antbird, Moustached Antpitta, Bicolored Antpitta, Brown-banded Antpitta, Hooded Antpitta, Crescent-faced Antpitta, Tatama Tapaculo, Stiles’s Tapaculo, Paramillo Tapaculo, Buffy Tuftedcheek, Antioquia Bristle-Tyrant, Apical Flycatcher, Orange-breasted Fruiteater, Yellow-headed Manakin, Club-winged Manakin, Munchique Wood-Wren, Black-and-gold Tanager, Gold-ringed Tanager, Multicolored Tanager, Turquoise Dacnis, Scarlet-and-white Tanager, Chestnut-bellied Flowerpiercer, Black-backed Bush Tanager, Tanager Finch, Yellow-headed Brushfinch, Sooty Ant-Tanager, Crested Ant-Tanager, Baudo Oropendola, Red-bellied Grackle, Velvet-fronted Euphonia.

Brown-banded Antpitta (Grallaria milleri) at Rio Blanco Reserve, Caldas, Colombia
Buffy Helmetcrest – Oxypogon stuebelii
Indigo-winged Parrot – Hapalopsittaca fuertesi
Black-and-gold-Tanager – Bangsia melanochlamys



  • La Romelia, a.k.a. Finca Romelia Colors of Life.
  • Tinamú, a.k.a. Tinamu Birding & Nature Reserve.
  • Cameguadua, this is a reservoir.
  • Los Alcázares, is an ecopark in the heart of the city of Manizales.
  • Rio Blanco, a private Nature Reserve.
  • Rio Claro, a Private Nature Reserve in the coffee-growing area of Villamaría.
  • Recinto del Pensamiento, a very nice hotel on the outskirts of Manizales. The annual Avitourism Congress is held there.
  • Los Nevados National Park.
  • Bellavista Reserve, a transition area of tropical dry forest near the town of Victoria.
  • Guarinocito, oxbow lake also near to the town of Victoria and La Dorada.


  • Mistrato, a little town in Risaralda.
  • Santa Cecilia, found in the Choco region.
  • Montezuma Road and Tatama National Park.
  • Apia
  • Botanical Garden of the Technologic University of Pereira
  • Cortaderal
  • Otun Quimbaya


  • Salento-Area
  • Quindio Botanical Garden
  • Rancho California
  • Pijao

Itinerary Example

The following itinerary is just an example of the route you can take. However, if you want to see more options, visit the itinerary designed by us.

Remember that you can customize your trip with us. Don’t miss the opportunity to live cultural experiences such as coffee tasting, rum tasting, chocolate production, visit the wax palm forests, among many other activities, either alone or with your family.

The following example trip proposed by Audubon lasts 17 days. It starts in Honda and ends in the Nevados National Park, and includes experienced tour leaders and trained local guides in every location.

Day 1 – Arrival in Bogotá. Overnight near the airport.
Day 2 – Birding travel to Honda. Begin your day birding the marshes near the airport in Bogotá, hoping for the endemic Bogotá rail. The afternoon will be spent traveling to Honda or the Victoria area. Overnight in Honda (or Victoria).
Day 3 – Birding Victoria. The morning will be devoted to visiting the Bellavista reserve. Overnight in Honda (or Victoria).
Day 4 – Laguna Guarinocito and travel to Manizales. Overnight in Manizales.
Day 5 – Río Blanco. Birding in the morning at Río Blanco. Overnight in Tinamú lodge.
Day 6 – Tinamú reserve, travel to Salento. Birding at the Tinamú reserve and then travel to Salento, stopping at the Cameguadua reservoir. Option 2 for this day starts early in Tinamú to drive to la Soledad, Río claro to bird with the community and travel to Salento.
Day 7 – Birding Salento and Camino nacional. Option 2 for this day includes a visit to Pijao.
Day 8 – Morning birding and drive to Otún Quimbaya after lunch, overnight there.
Day 9 – All day Otún Quimbaya. All-day in the Otún Quimbaya area, with a post-lunch break. Overnight in Otún Quimbaya.
Day 10 – Morning in Otún Quimbaya, drive to the western Andes. Last morning in the Otún Quimbaya. Afternoon driving to the town of Mistrató. Overnight in Mistrató. Option 2 for this day starts birding in Otún Quimbaya and then driving to Apía.
Day 11 – Visit the wonderful Chocó forests of Mistrató or Apía, returning for lunch in town. Then travel to Pueblo Rico, and onward to the Montezuma ecolodge. Overnight in Montezuma.
Day 12 – Montezuma all day. All-day in Montezuma starting at the high elevation site and birding our way down. Overnight in Montezuma.
Day 13 – Montezuma all day. Morning visit to Santa Cecilia, afternoon and overnight in Montezuma.
Day 14 – Montezuma in the morning, drive to Santa Rosa de Cabal.
Day 15 – Start early to look for the Indigo-winged (Fuertes’s) parrot in Cortaderal. In the afternoon, transfer to Manizales and Los Nevados national park. Overnight in hotel Term ales del Ruiz.
Day 16 – Los Nevados National Park. Overnight in Hotel Termales del Ruiz.
Day 17 – Transfer to airport in Pereira. Flights back to Bogotá and home.

As time goes by, the list of Colombian birding trails has grown and you can be sure that you will find fantastic birds in any region of the country.

Check all of our Birding Routes here!


Take waterproof clothing, waterproof boots, and waterproof backpacks to protect your equipment in case of rain.

If you want to know more about Colombian nature tours contact us and plan your trip with us.

  • Birdwatching in Colombia – Procolombia
  • Audubon Society Website
  • The Central Andes Birding Trail
About the author

Sara Colmenares

The current director of Sula. Doctor in Biological Sciences. Her main interests are to explore and understand the organism–environment interactions, taking advantage of emerging knowledge for the management and conservation of species and ecosystem services. She is currently working as a consultant in functional ecology, ecosystem services, and conservation projects in Colombia related to ecotourism and birdwatching.