Cuyabeno Reserve

Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve

Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve was created in 1979 and has this category since it has 600 000 hectares of protected territory which there are vulnerable and/or economically valuable wildlife species in its habitats. It includes territories that for years have been used by indigenous communities.

Located in the northeast of Ecuador, in the provinces of Orellana and Sucumbios, this reserve has large extensions of tropical forest and a complex of 14 lagoons that form the largest wetland in the Ecuadorian Amazon and where we find the beautiful flooded forest with black waters.

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Cuyabeno Flora

The flora of this reserve is among one of the most diverse on the planet and has around 1,400 species distributed in different ecosystems.

Trees such as ceibo, sande and mahogany can easily reach more than 50 meters high, there are approximately 60 species of orchids; innumerable species of heliconias, epiphytes, vines, ferns, 42 species of palms, etc.

Among one of the most characteristic trees of this area are the water Guarangos that are found in the Laguna Grande.

Cuyabeno Fauna

The fauna of Cuyabeno is exceptional, it is estimated that there are around 1,100 species: 165 mammals, 500 birds, 81 amphibians, 54 reptiles and 300 fish.

These flooded forests are the territory of pink dolphins, manatees, alligators, anacondas, otters, monkeys, peccaries, jaguars, tigrillos, pumas, paiches, bocachicos, piranhas, catfish, frogs, parrots, macaws, etc.

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Indigenous Communities

Near the shore of Cuyabeno and Aguarico rivers live 8 indigenous communities (Puerto Bolívar, Pucapeña, Tarapuy, Playas de Cuyabeno, Zancudo, Taikiua, Charapa and Zábalo) belonging to 5 nationalities: Siona, Secoya, Cofán, Quichua and Shuar.

These ethnic groups are, for the most part, small populations that subsist from hunting, fishing, agriculture, handicrafts and ecotourism activities. All ethnic groups have developed their own language, cultural rituals and worldview.

Threats to Cuyabeno Reserve

The main threats to the Cuyabeno Reserve come from oil activities, forestry extraction of timber products, illegal hunting, agricultural development under monoculture systems and the expansion of the agricultural frontlines and colonization.

However, the government of Ecuador has done a great job to protect the territory of the reserve and the biodiversity that inhabits it is not lost.

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