June, 2014 | With the help of our office in Cuenca, Ecuador, two new government reserves have been created at the municipal level, ensuring their protection over the long term. Both reserves protect the habitats of key species and preserve pristine cloud forests and watersheds, which in turn safeguard the water supply for hundreds of thousands of Ecuadorians in the region.
The 36,618 acre municipal reserve declared in Azogues preserves pristine cloud forests and includes a buffer zone that traverses the southern portion of Sangay National Park, protecting important populations of the endangered Spectacled bear as well as sources of the region’s drinking water. This water source also supplies the most important hydro-power plant in Ecuador.
The Gualaceo municipal reserve covers 34,550 acres and is a key declaration as it protects paramo and montane forests that are home to rare birds such as the Red-faced Parrot, Crescent-faced Antpitta, Purple-Backed Thornbill, Dusky Piha, and Chestnut-bellied Cotinga, among many others. Its lush forests contain species of incredible orchids and bromeliads, in addition to numerous other plant types. It also protects vital water sources in both natural ecosystems and farming landscapes.