Narupa was established as a reserve in 2006 by the Ecuadorian conservation non-profit group Jocotoco Foundation to protect a large block of eastern Andean foothill forest, one of the largest in this part of Ecuador. Named for an elegant species of tall palm, the Narupa Reserve is 1,850 acres and forms part of the buffer zone of Sumaco National Park.
The Reserve has an elevation range from 1000 to 1580 m, which contributes to a growing list of birds that is over 300 species. This includes the Cerulean Warbler, a long-distance migrant that breeds in eastern North America and spends the boreal winter in northwestern South America. Resident species include Black Tinamou, Military Macaw, Coppery-chested Jacamar, and Foothill Elaenia.
The variety of tanagers, tyrant flycatchers, and hummingbirds found on the reserve is especially impressive. A notable rarity is the Orange-breasted Falcon, a pair of which has bred for some years on a cliff immediately adjacent to the reserve; this represents the only currently known nesting nest for this rare falcon, itself globally threatened, in Ecuador.