CUYABENO WILDLIFE RESERVE
About 2% of this Amazon Rainforest lies within Ecuador’s borders in the foothills of the Andes, which although it is a small proportion, it contains about a third of its diversity!
The Ecuadorian Amazon Region takes up the other half of the country, spilling east from the gentle eastern slope of the Andes into Perú. Rainforests are defined by low altitude (up to 1,000 meters), high temperatures (25- 28° C) and daily rainfall. Among the oldest of all ecosystems Amazon basin forests are at least 100 million years old. Large percentages of Ecuador’s animals and plants live into the area. The Jungle Rivers of the Amazon-side of the Andes or the misty cloud forests can provide an opportunity to experience for nature lovers.
The Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve protects 590.912 hectares of primary forest which we it must be conserved as a natural patrimony for our future generations. It is located just on the Equator, in the northeast area of the Ecuadorian Amazon rainforest. The elevation gently slopes from about 300 meters to slightly under 200 m above sea level.
There are many different ecosystems in Cuyabeno: seasonally flooded forests or swamps, with traversed by sediment-poor dark rivers in the lower part of the Cuyabeno River; forests flooded by sediment-rich rivers, or varzea like in Lagartococha; forests flooded by black-water rivers, or igapó and dominated by the famous Macrolobium trees which are the homes to countless Epiphytes, Herons, blue and Yellow Macaws and Huatzins like in the Laguna Grande; permanent lakes that rarely fall dry, like Zancudo Cocha downstream the Aguarico River; well-drained forest located on small hills and in the upper watershed in the upper part of Cuyabeno River; dark sediment-poor rivers; “coffee-with_milk” coloured sediment-rich rivers, the largest which being the Aguarico River of white waters that runs to the border with Peru.
In this paradise, it is possible to identify over 500 different species of colorful birds starting from tiny hummingbirds to the majestic Harpy Eagle, which is found just in the rainforest, there are 240 different species of plants in one hectare, each one with a specific practical and medical use. Jaguars, Monkeys, Anteaters, Sloths, Dolphins ( Inia Geoffrensis and Sotalia ), Manatees and Armadillos, are just some of 165 species the mammals that live in the Cuyabeno Reserve. Amazing anacondas and fer de lances are some of the 91 species of reptiles found, and the caimans too. Piranhas, Catfish, the gigantic Arapaima reaching over 2 meters and approximately 470 species of fishes thrive here in the black water rivers and lakes.
The Cuyabeno Reserve provides home and habitat for countless plant and animal species as well as for Indigenous communities such as Sionas, Secoyas, Kichwas, Shuar and Cofanes.