The discovery of a new bird species — the Jocotoco Antpitta — in 1997 set off a series of events that would forever change conservation in Ecuador. Ten months after the sighting, the Jocotoco Foundation was founded and the Tapichalaca Reserve created to protect this and numerous other globally-threatened birds such as Bearded Guan, Golden-plumed Parakeet, White-breasted Parakeet, and Spot-winged Parrotlet. Additional birds of interest include Rufous-capped Thornbill, Masked Saltator, Coppery-chested Jacamar, and the Masked Mountain Tanager.
The reserve is also part of an important migration corridor for populations of Andean Tapir, Spectacled Bear, Puma, Andean Paca, Red-Sprocket Deer and Andean Coati.
Tapichalaca is situated just across the Continental Divide on the east (or Amazonian) slope of the Andes, adjoining the southern extremity of Podocarpus National Park and just north of the Peruvian frontier, making it an integral part of a significant conservation corridor in southern Ecuador.
The reserve ranges in altitude from 1,800 to 3,400 meters, making it a cool and wet area. Over five meters of rain falls annually in this zone, compared to a typical two meters in lowland Amazon forest in Ecuador. However, this rainfall is significantly less than in most nearby Andean areas, perhaps accounting for the rarity of the reserve’s signature bird.
Tapichalaca Reserve - Casa Simpson
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