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 THE COAST [LA COSTA]
At the coast, one of the most interesting life zones [and one of the most imperilled] is the mangrove swamps. The mangrove has developed an incredible capacity to be able to grow in salt water. Around its stilt roots live fish, molluscs, crustaceans and many other invertebrates. On the branches you'll find nesting and resting pelicans, frigates and other sea birds. Sadly, these trees are being destroyed by the development of Ecuador's shrimp farms.

Tropical dry forest is a disappearing habitat along the coast, where there are distinct wet and dry seasons. Like a northern winter season, the trees discard their leaves during the dry season. The best example of this habitat is in the Machalilla National Park along the central coast.
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