From Wildlife Extra:
World’s highest hummingbird feeding place bought
March 2014: At 5,704 metres the purchase of Hacienda Antisanilla on the west slope of the Antisana Volcano in Ecuador is a crucial step in the restoration of high altitude habitats in the Andes and maintaining a valuable food source for the Chimborazo Hillstar (Oreotrochilus chimborazo), the highest living of all hummingbirds.
Also known as the Ecuadorian hillstar, its diet includes the orange flowered chuquiragua, which thrives at high altitudes and is found growing on under-grazed land at the newly purchased site, Antisanilla.
Antisanilla was acquired by Fundación Jocotoco (FJ), one of World Land Trust’s (WLT) four conservation partners in Ecuador, and together with the adjacent Hacienda Sunfuhuaico, which was purchased by FJ in 2011, the two properties cover nearly 12,500 acres (5,000 hectares) of high Andean páramo.
This area has been heavily grazed by cattle for a very long time, and much of the land is now entirely dominated by stipa grass. However, some patches of stony ground that have been less grazed by cattle retain a much richer flora. With a variety of small trees, shrubs and flowers, these areas are likely to resemble the region’s original vegetation.
“Antisanilla, and the adjacent Sunfuhuaico will be an exciting challenge for restoration of the páramo to its original diversity of grasses, flowers, and shrubs,” said Nigel Simpson, Trustee of both FJ and WLT. “Some 5 to 10 per cent of the property is high diversity habitat, which will provide the raw material for a long term restoration programme in conjunction with a change of grazing practices, including eventually the reintroduction of previously native camelids.”