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COTACACHI CAYAPAS

 ECOLOGICAL RESERVE

  1. Geology

  2. Hydrology

  3. Conservation staturs

  4. Things to do

  5. Vegetation

  6. Mammals

  7. Birds

  8. Other critters

  9. Getting there

  10. Best tours

10 Cotacachi Cayapas Ecological Reserve Facts: Regional map.

10 Cotacachi Cayapas Ecological Reserve Facts: Topographic map.

 

Geology

Cotacachi-Cayapas Ecological Reserve has an area of 243,638 ha and its altitudinal range varies from: 30 - 4,939 masl.

The reserve is located in the north western part of the Andes, and  belongs to the Biogeografical region of Chocó. The oldest geological formation of the Reserve is Macuchi with 100 million years, which comprises most of the Cordillera de Toisán and a large part of the Cayapas sector.

 

10 Cotacachi Cayapas Ecological Reserve Facts: Paramo with shrubs.10 Cotacachi Cayapas Ecological Reserve Facts: River through Andean Cloud Forest.

Semi forested paramo.

More to the west, the mountains slope down quickly with deep inaccessible valleys and wild-water rivers.


The most recent formations are recent undifferentiated volcanic deposits of less than one million years old, covering almost the entire upper part of the Reserve.

More to the west, the terrain descends rapidly towards the extensive plains of the coast by a several of sub-mountain ranges, such as the Toisán, Cayapas and Lanchas mountains.

 

10 Cotacachi Cayapas Ecological Reserve Facts: Andes flanks.10 Cotacachi Cayapas Ecological Reserve Facts: Cloudforest in the clouds.

The Andes  flanks with extremely steep slopes
 

There are three volcanoes in the park: the Yanahurco peak (4,538 masl), the Cotacachi volcano (4,939 masl) and the Lake Cuicocha volcano. The Mount Yanahurco is a dead volcano which has been eroded by Pliocene glaciers. The Cotacachi Volcano is a stratovolcano which was also eroded during the Pleistocene, shaping it into a rocky pyramid.
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Hydrology
The temperature varies between 4 and 24 ° C and annual precipitation between 1,000 - 5,000 mm depending on the elevation and exposure to the Andean winds.

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Hydrology

La temperatura varía entre los 4 y 24 °C y la precipitación anual entre los 1,000 – 5,000 mm dependiendo de la elevación y la exposición a los vientos andinos.

 

10 Cotacachi Cayapas Ecological Reserve Facts: Paramo creek.10 Cotacachi Cayapas Ecological Reserve Facts: Paramo lake.

Many creeks cut through the paramos.

One of the many paramo lakes.

 

The eastern part of the Reserve consists of very mountainous paramos with lots of rivers rocky streams, and in poorly drained areas, dozens of lakes  and marshes of different sizes.

 

10 Cotacachi Cayapas Ecological Reserve Facts: Paramo bog.10 Cotacachi Cayapas Ecological Reserve Facts: paramo cushion vegetation.

Extensive water-drenched bogs are important water containers.

Cushion plants are important water buffers as well.

 

The natural vegetation is grassland, with soils between sods covered by moss that retain a large quantities of water in the poorly drained highland plains. Moreover, cushion plants abound which also absorb lots of water. That is why the reserve is considered a hydrological "sponge".

The interior of the park has extremely rugged terrain with steep slopes giving rise to white water rivers and streams and lots of waterfalls.

10 Cotacachi Cayapas Ecological Reserve Facts: Waterfall in the cloudforest.10 Cotacachi Cayapas Ecological Reserve Facts: Waterfall in the jungle.

The Reserve has many waterfalls.

 

The Reserve covers an extensive range of elevations which accounts for a great diversity of ecosystems, ranging from the paramos in the highlands surrounding the Cotacachi Volcano, to the moist premontane forests along the San Miguel, Santiago, Bravo and Guaduero Rivers. Important rivers that originate in the reserve and then drain to the Pacific Ocean are: Santiago-Cayapas, with the largest watershed in the Reserve, as well as the Esmeraldas and El Mira Rivers watersheds.

 

There are 24 micro-watershed in the Reserve, 8 of which have their total area within the reserve while the others have their largest areas outside the protected area. The Santiago-Cayapas River watershed comprises the sub-basins of the Santiago, Agua Clara, San Miguel and Cayapas rivers, of which the sub-basin of the Santiago river, located in the western part of the reserve, is the largest area within the watershed. The micro watersheds that drain the Mira River watershed originate in the upper and northern part of the reserve, while the microbasins supplying the Esmeraldas River watershed (Guayllabamba River subbasin) are located in the southern part of the reserve.

 

The caldera of the Cuicocha volcano has a diameter of 3 km, which lies at the foot of the Cotacachi Volcano. Its interior slopes are very steep. Within the crater, is a crater lake at a level of 3,068 masl and of 132 m deep, without superficial drainage. With an area of ​​657 ha it is the largest permanent freshwater lake of the Andean highlands of Ecuador. It came to be after a collapse of the caldera which was then filed with melting water and rainfall. Two little islands raise from the surface: Teodoro Wolf and Yerovi Islands, separated by the Canal of Dreams.

 

10 Cotacachi Cayapas Ecological Reserve Facts: Cuicocha Crater Lake.10 Cotacachi Cayapas Ecological Reserve Facts: Cuicocha Lake with Cotacachi Volcano in the background.

Lake Cuicocha has an area of 657 ha and is 132 m diep.

The lake is in a deep caldera.

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Conservation status

The Cotacachi-Cayapas Ecological Reserve was created on August 29, 1968 by Executive Decree No. 1468, published in the Official Register of September 24, 1968 r.o. No 17.

It is the most important reserve in the western Andes for protecting ecosystems from almost the snow line to almost sea level in one single protected area. Its ecosystems belong to the Biogeográfca region of Chocó, the rainiest region of the world. In fact, only a very small part of the original Ecuadorian Pacific forests are still intact and the rest of the Andes flanks have mostly been deforested; remaining forests are fragmented and heavily intervened at best. Thus the Cotacachi-Cayapas Ecological Reserve and the Awá Forest Ethnic Reserve are two of the last relatively intact areas representing the altitudinal gradients of vegetation and natural ecosystems of the Pacific Andes.

Administratively, this Reserve is divided into two zones: the lowlands which extend from the flanks of the Andes to the Coast and the high lands that cover the altimontane region passing through the Cordillera de Toisán.

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Things to do

Lake cuicocha: Located 12 km southwest of the town of Cotacachi. A short distance from the entrance to the park is a beautiful visitor center and a few hundred meters further is the community tourism complex with a restaurant. There you can buy the tickets for a beautiful guided boat tour on the lake which around the island where you can enjoy waterfowl. You can also do kayak and scuba go diving; for the last two activities you need previous authorization from the park administration.

10 Cotacachi Cayapas Ecological Reserve Facts: Modern Visitor Center.10 Cotacachi Cayapas Ecological Reserve Facts: Exposition at Visitor Center.

The visitor center is one of the most modern ones in the country.

Exposition at the visitor center.

 

10 Cotacachi Cayapas Ecological Reserve Facts: orchid: Epidendrum jamiesonis.10 Cotacachi Cayapas Ecological Reserve Facts: Bromeliad at Cuicocha.10 Cotacachi Cayapas Ecological Reserve Facts: Pampas Grass, Cortaderia jubata, is very common in the park.

The visitor center has a small botanical garden with flowers  of the area like this orchid: Epidendrum jamiesonis., as well as bromeliads and Pampas Grass, Cortaderia jubata.

 

10 Cotacachi Cayapas Ecological Reserve Facts: Park Entrance at Cuichocha.10 Cotacachi Cayapas Ecological Reserve Facts: Tourist accomodations and boat excursion marina.

The park entrance at Cuicocha.

The community resort with the marina for excursions.

 

10 Cotacachi Cayapas Ecological Reserve Facts: Visitors in excursion boat Cuicocha.

Visitors can enjoy the view from land or from an excursion boat.

 

The Gorky Campusano trail around the lake is self-guided. The Cuicocha offers an amazing view of the entire valley of Imbabura form where San Pablo Lake, Otavalo, Altos de Mojanda and Atuntaqui can all be seen.

Piñán lakes: (4,000 masl): A lake complex north-west of Urcuquí, with Lake Donoso (2.5 km long), Lake Susacocha and Lake Cristococha should be mentioned, covered with pajonales. In Piñán you can fish for rainbow trout, do some great bird watching at tjhe camp site.

 

Mojanda Lakes: (about 3,500 masl): Caricocha, Huamicocha and Yanacocha. They are located south of Otavalo.

Cotacachi volcano of 4,949 masl: You can climb to the top of this active volcano. Its melt water runs into Lake Cuicocha. You can reach the trail head from a side road of the road that leads to Lake Cuicocha.

 

Volcano yanaHurco of 4,538 masl: This is the best place to look for the Andean Condors which are know to nest in this area.

Yanayacu: Located 1 km north-west of Cotacachi are hot springs.

Nangulvi: Located in the Nangulvi valley, 3 km from Apuela, are volcanic hot springs, with temperatures up to 71 ° C.

 

Lodging: Along the highlands surrounding ​​the reserve are small accommodations like: Hosteria Los Pinos, Hosteria El Mirador and Hosteria Tumbabiro. There are also community inns linked to the UNORCAC-RUNA TUPARI project and there is the Cuicocha Lodge,  at the lake. In the lowlands, is a cabin in Charco Vicente in the San Miguel District within the reserve, while three community tourist operators in the buffer zone are: Playa de Oro, KUMANII Lodge and San Miguel Lodge.
 

Mountain biking: This is practiced along the Cuicocha – Antenas provincial road.

 

Los Cedros Biological Reserve at 1,400 masl: 60 km northwest of Quitoa and west of Cotacach.

 

Salto del Bravo: Small natural beach surrounded by tropical vegetation, located near the Agua Clara and Bravo Grande Rivers.  To get there, it takes four hours from Bourbon to San Miguel by boat on the Cayapas River.

 

Cascada de San miguel: 100 m waterfall, which be reached after an 8 hours hike from Charco Vicente. This waterall is close to the confluence of the Rivers Lachas and Santiago, at about four hours by boat from Bourbon, which can be reached along the Santiago River until the town of Playa de Oro.

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Vegetation

Flora

With the exception of the islets in Lake Cuicocha, where the native flora has been studied, no other botanic studies have been carried out in the park. Still, 2,017 species of vascular plants are known to the area and buffer zone, which represents 13.8% of the total number of Vascular Plants of Ecuador. The family with the greatest number of species is Orchidaceae with 201, followed by the family Melastomataceae with 149 and Araceae with 45.

 

The islets of Lake Cuicocha are characterized by having a tree stratum that reaches 15 m in height, where the dominant species are Columellia oblonga and Solanum sp. The tree trunks are covered with mosses, lichens and bromeliads. The vegetation of these islets may be the last remnant of this formation.

 

Of all the endemic vascular plants growing in the country, 20% occur in the western part of the Reserve, which is due to its location in the western flanks of the Andes mountains, combined with being part of the a biogeographical region of Chocó in Ecuador. The Red Book of Endemic Plants of Ecuador reports 78 endemic species known to the reserve and expects another 320 species to be present.

The reserve belongs to the floristic Northern Subregion, and includes the following plant formations:

 

Evergreen lowland forest (0-300 masl): The canopies reach more than 30 m in height, predominating arboreal species of the families: Myristicaceae, Arecaceae, Moraceae, Fabaceae and Meliaceae, richly covered epiphytes and vines. The herb layer is dense, with lots of Araceae and ferns. Some characteristic species: Brosimum utile, Poulsenia armata, Rubber, Castilla elastica, Phytelephas aequatorialis, Wettinia quinaria, Astrocaryum standleyanum; Carapa guianensis, Guarea polymera, Otoba gordoniifolia, Nectandra guadaripo, Humiriastrum procerum, Theobroma gileri, Matisia alata, Cecropia garciae, and the endemic tree Swartzia littlei, Conostegia cuatrecasii, Tetrathylacium macrophyllum, Rhodospatha densinervia, and the herb Xanthosoma daguense.

 

Bosque siempreverde de tierras Bajas (0 - 300 msnm): Tiene un dosel de más de 30 m de altura, predominando las especies arbóreas de las familias: Myristicaceae, Arecaceae, Moraceae, Fabaceae y Meliaceae; cubiertas por abundantes epíftas y trepadoras. El estrato bajo está densamente poblado de herbáceas, sobresaliendo especies de la familia Araceae. También existe gran cantidad de helechos. Entre la flora característica se encuentran: el Sande,

 

Evergreen Premontane Forest (300 - 1,300 masl): In the tree stratum is an abundance of palms, Mimosaceae, Fabaceae, Burseraceae and Meliaceae. The canopy reaches 30 m or higher, and the tree trunks are covered with orchids, bromeliads, ferns and Araceae. Herbaceous species of the families Marantaceae, Araceae, and ferns dominate the herb layer. Among the characteristic flora are these palms: Wettinia quinaria, Pholidostachys dactyloides, Iriartea deltoidea y Aiphanes erinacea. Other arboreous specis are: Virola dixonii, Otoba gordoniifolia; Protium amplum; Vitex flavens; Caryodaphnopsis theobromifolia. Some herbs: Irbachia alata; Begonia glabra; Monstera pinnatipartita.

 

Evergreen low montane forest (1,300-1,800 masl): This forest type covers only a narrow strip along the western flank of the Andes mountain range. The canopy is between 25 and 30 m high and most species and families representative of the lowland trees are absent, woody vines decline and certain families reach the upper limits of their growth. Epiphytes on the other hand increase in both species and abundance. Typical flora of this formation includes: Oreopanax confusus, Anthurium albispatha, Buddleja americana, Nectandra membranacea, Cladocolea archeri, Byrsonima putumayensis, Bellucia pentamera, Blakea punctulata; Siparuna laurifolia, Fuchsia macrostigma.

 

Evergreen montane forest (1,800-3,000 masl): Forest with the canopy between 20 and 25 m, trees, densely overgrown with mosses. IN this ecosystem epiphytes reach their greatest diversity both in number of species and abundance. About 95% of the trees in the hills of this cloud forest along the Santiago-Cayapas River are represented by two species: Carapa guianensis and Eschweilera sp., the former being the larger tree and possibly the only place where you can still find adults of this species is in the reserve. Typical flora of this formation includes: Anthurium mindense, Anthurium gualeanum; Gunnera pilosa, Bocconia integrifolia, Piper aduncum, Miconia crocea, Cedrela montana, Chusquea scandens, Puya glomerifera, Centropogon calycinus, Meriania maxima, Cinnamomum palaciosii, C. triplinerve; Freziera canescens.

 

10 Cotacachi Cayapas Ecological Reserve Facts: In the montane forest, trees are covered with moss and other epiphytes.10 Cotacachi Cayapas Ecological Reserve Facts: Tree ferns like Cyathea sp.  are characterize the forest.

In the montane forest, trees are covered with moss and other epiphytes.

Tree ferns like Cyathea sp.  are characterize the forest.

 

10 Cotacachi Cayapas Ecological Reserve Facts: Bromeliads are common epiphytes in the montane cloudforest.10 Cotacachi Cayapas Ecological Reserve Facts: Loasa tricolor is a little flower of the montane cloudforest.

Bromeliads are common epiphytes in the montane forest.

Loasa tricolor is a little flower of the montane forest.

 

Evergreen altimontane forest (3,000 - 3,400 masl): Forest floor densely covered with moss and irregular growth of trees with trunks branching out from the base, hanging over, and sometimes almost horizontal. In this formation the following species can be found: Cotula australis, Critoniopsis palaciosii; Tournefortia fuliginosa, Valleys stipularis, Gunnera pilosa, Nasa grandiflora, Brachyotum ledifolium, Siparuna echinata, Aa maderoi, Passiflora pinnatistipula.

 

10 Cotacachi Cayapas Ecological Reserve Facts: The transition from the cloudforest to the paramo.10 Cotacachi Cayapas Ecological Reserve Facts: Polylepsis forest of the Paramo.

The transition from the Altimontane forest to the paramo.

A Polylepis forest, with very gnarled trunks and a thick layer of moss covering the ground.

 

10 Cotacachi Cayapas Ecological Reserve Facts: Flowers of the Hercules Club, Puya-clava herculis.10 Cotacachi Cayapas Ecological Reserve Facts: The Hercules Club, Puya-clava herculis, is a fascinating bromeliad.

The Hercules Club, Puya-clava herculis, is a fascinating bromeliad in the paramo that grows up to 4 m.

 

10 Cotacachi Cayapas Ecological Reserve Facts: Gaiadendron punctatum typical of transition zone of the Altimontane forest to the páramo.10 Cotacachi Cayapas Ecological Reserve Facts: The Lupines, Lupina Kunthii, live in the Altimontane forest and the paramo.

Gaiadendron punctatum typical of transition zone of the Altimontane forest to the páramo.

The Lupines, Lupina Kunthii, live in the Altimontane forest and the paramo.

 

10 Cotacachi Cayapas Ecological Reserve Facts: Ceratostema alatum, is typical of the transition zone from the Altimontane forest to the páramo.10 Cotacachi Cayapas Ecological Reserve Facts: A begonia of the paramo.

Ceratostema alatum, is typical of the transition zone from the Altimontane forest to the páramo.

A begonia of the paramo.

 

10 Cotacachi Cayapas Ecological Reserve Facts: Epidendrum Jamieson is an orchid common in the paramo.10 Cotacachi Cayapas Ecological Reserve Facts: Paramo Mistletoe Shrub, Psittacanthus sp. is a parasitic shrub.

Epidendrum Jamieson is an orchid common in the paramo.

Paramo Mistletoe Shrub, Psittacanthus sp. is a parasitic shrub common in them paramo.

 

Herbaceous Paramo (3,400 - 4,000 masl): It is dominated by graminoids of the genera Calamagrostis and Festuca, intermingled with other types of grasses and small shrubs. The species Calamagrostis effusa is restricted to the paramos of the provinces of Carchi and Imbabura. Characteristic flora: Chuquirahua, Chuquiraga jussieui, Oritrophium peruvianum; Huperzia talpiphila, Nototriche phyllanthos, Peperomia fruticetorum, Castilleja sp. and Valeriana sp.

10 Cotacachi Cayapas Ecological Reserve Facts: Bomarea linifolia is a mini-shrub of the paramo.10 Cotacachi Cayapas Ecological Reserve Facts: the licopodium Huperzia crassa, is red.

Bomarea linifolia is a mini-shrub of the paramo.

To resist the strong radiation in the paramo, the licopodium Huperzia crassa, is red.

 

Gelidofitia (4,000 - 4,700 masl): Formation dominated by dispersed shrubs and xerophytic plants, lichens and mosses. The rhizomes and roots are strongly developed and the leaves are small, often protected by hair. Characteristic species : Draba aretioides, Loricaria ferruginea; Valerian pilosa and species of mosses, Andreana sp. and Grimmia sp. and lichens, Lecanora sp. And Gyrophora sp.

10 Cotacachi Cayapas Ecological Reserve Facts: Chuquiraja is a very hardy shrub that grows anywhere in the paramo.10 Cotacachi Cayapas Ecological Reserve Facts: Culcitium Nivale grows up to close to the snow line.

Chuquiraja is a very hardy shrub that grows anywhere in the paramo up into the gelidofitia.

Culcitium Nivale grows up to close to the snow line.

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Mammals

Of the 139 known mammals of the reserve bats and rodents are the most common.

 

Among the larger mammals living in tjhe area: Tigrillo, Leopardus pardalis,  Leopardus wiedii, Yaguarundi, Puma yagouaroundi, Andean Cat, Oncifelis colocolo, Puma, Puma concolor, Jaguar, Panthera onca, Bush Dog, Speothos venaticus, Coastal Otter, Lontra longicaudis, Coastal Howler Monkey, Alouatta palliata and Ecuadorian Capuchin Monkey, Cebus albifronsae quatorialis.

 

10 Cotacachi Cayapas Ecological Reserve Facts: Jaguars are not common but widely distributed in Ecuador.10 Cotacachi Cayapas Ecological Reserve Facts: Mountain Lions have an even wider distribution, as they also like the cold areas of the Andes.

Omni present in large tropical parks, the Jaguar also lives in the Cotacachi Reserve.

Pumas have an even wider distribution, as they also like the cold areas of the Andes.

 

10 Cotacachi Cayapas Ecological Reserve Facts: The Andean Red Brocket Deer,  Mazama rufina.10 Cotacachi Cayapas Ecological Reserve Facts: Giant Anteaters, Myrmecophaga tridactyla.

The Andean Red Brocket DeerMazama rufina, is omnipresent and rather common in the Andes, although permanent persecution keeps them wary.

Giant Anteaters, Myrmecophaga tridactyla, occur in the park.

 

10 Cotacachi Cayapas Ecological Reserve Facts: The Andean Fox10 Cotacachi Cayapas Ecological Reserve Facts: The Brasilian Cottontail.

The Andean Fox is rather common in the reserve but shy and not often seen.

The Brasilian Cottontail is an important source of food for the Andean Fox.

 

10 Cotacachi Cayapas Ecological Reserve Facts: the Virginia Deer is common throughout Ecuador.10 Cotacachi Cayapas Ecological Reserve Facts: The Striped hog-nosed skunk, Conepatus semistriatus.

Ocuring in all the Americas from Alaska to Tierra de Fuego, the White-tailed Deer is common throughout Ecuador.

The Striped hog-nosed skunk, Conepatus semistriatus too is rather common, but being nocturnal, it is not often seen.

 

13 species are considered endemic for the Chocó region, among them a new species of Spiny Mouse, Heteromys australis, and 20 species are threatened: Hippocamelus antisensis; The Giant Anteater, Myrmecophaga tridactyla, and the Woolly Tapir, Tapirus bairdii, probably already disappeared in the area, while the Pacarana, Dinomys branickii, is probably rare.

It is important to emphasize other threatened species: the Coastal Spider Monkey, Ateles fusciceps, Coendou Quichua, endemic of Ecuador, the Capuchin Monkey, Cebus capucinus; and the largest bat in America: the Great False Vampire, Vampyrum spectrum.

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birds

La mayor riqueza de aves que se estima entre 500 y 700 especies, se encuentra bajo los 600 msnm, aunque a esta altitud el área que cubre la Reserva probablemente no es sufciente para mantener poblaciones viables de algunas especies amenazadas que habitan principalmente en las tierras bajas, como: Águila Arpía, Harpia harpyja, Pavón Grande, Crax rubra, Guacamayo Verde Mayor, Ara ambigua, Barbudo Cinco Colores, Capito quinticolor, Dacnis Pechiescar Lata, Dacnis berlepschi, y Tangara Bigotiazul, Tangara johannae).

 

)La Reserva posiblemente alberga: Loro Orejiamarillo, Ognorhynchus icterotis, Halcón Montés Plomizo, Micrastur plumbeus, Cuco Hormiguero Franjeado, Neomorphus radiolosus, y Pájaro Paraguas Longuipéndulo, Cephalopterus penduliger).

 

En la Laguna Cuicocha se ha registrado la reproducción del Zambullidor Plateado, Podiceps occipitalis juninensis, y Focha Andina, Fulica ardesiaca).

The number of bird species belonging to the lowlands under 600 m in reserve is estimated to be between 500 and 700 species. The area at this eleavtion covered by the Reserve is probably not enough to maintain viable populations of some endangered lowland species such as: Harpy eagle, Harpia harpyja, Crax rubra, Greater Green Macaw, Ara ambiguous, Capito quinticolor, Dacnis berlepschi, and Tangara johannae.

The Reserve is possibly home to: Ognorhynchus icterotis, Micrastur plumbeus, Neomorphus radiolosus and Cephalopterus penduliger.

In Lake Cuicocha, Podiceps occipitalis juninensis, and Fulica ardesiaca are nesting.

 

10 Cotacachi Cayapas Ecological Reserve Facts: The Andean Lapwing, Vanellus resplendens.10 Cotacachi Cayapas Ecological Reserve Facts: Northern Crested Caracara, Caracara cheriway

The Andean Lapwing, Vanellus resplendens, is a common bird of the paramo.

Northern Crested Caracara, Caracara cheriway, can often be seen in the paramo.

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Other Critters

Herpetofauna

The herpetofauna of the reserve consists of 235 species, of which 124 are amphibians y 111 are reptiles.

 

Amphibians

The greatest amphibian diversity is found in the montane forests, while the  reptiles are concentrated in the lowland. The conservation status of reptiles is not known, while the number of threatened amphibian species is as high as 40%, including: Centrolene ilex, Atelopus elegans, A. coynei, A. longirostris , A. mindoensis, Rhaebo blombergi, R. caeruleos tictus; Hemiphractus fasciatus, Hyloxalus awa, H. chocoensis, H. toachi; Euphorbiaceae, Echinacea, Echinacea, Echinacea, Echinacea, Echinacea, Echinacea, Echinacea, Echinacea, Echinacea, Echinacea, Echinacea; Gastrotheca plumbea, Bolitoglossa chica, Caecilia leucocephala and Caecilia pachynema.

 

Reptiles

Among the 100 y 150 species, the lizard Ameiva septemlineata is the most common species. Also common are: the Chonta snake, Clelia clelia, the South American Snapping Turtle, Chelydra acutirostris, the White-lipped Mud Turtle, Kinosternon leucostomum postinguinale, Basiliscos sp., Enyalioides heterolepis, the Boa, Boa constrictor imperator, False Coral snake, Oxyrhopus petola sebae, Coral snake, Micrurus dumerilii transandinus, Trachyboa boulengeri, Mexican Pit viper, Bothrops asper, Lachesis acrochorda, Porthidium nasutum, en the endemic snake  Atractusdunni.

 

Fishes

The ichthyofauna of the area is made up of 33 resident species, of which 7 are eaten by the local population.

 

10 Cotacachi Cayapas Ecological Reserve Facts: "preñador" genus, AstroblepusOriginally, the rivers and lakes of the high Andes were only inhabited by species of the "preñador" genus, Astroblepus, but last century several species of trout have been introduced throughout the Andean region, forcing the preñadores to places inaccessible to trout.

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Getting there

Lake Cuicocha: From the Panamerican Highway, drive to Cotacache, and from there take the road to the lake about 12 km southwest of Cotacachi.

Most of the rest of the reserve is inaccessible by car.

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Best tours

 

 

 

 

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What we do now:

Find out more about the National Parks of Ecuador;

Ecotours to Cuyabeno visiting the Cofan Lodge and Cuyabeno Lodge;

Organize great excursions on the brand new historical train system

Take me to the Parks Tour Programs.

 

 

 

PARKS & TRIBES and the COFAN LODGE have their sales office in:

Calle Mariano Cardenal N74-153 &

Calle Joaquín Mancheno Carcelen,

Alto Quito

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