Ecuador declares new National Park
Good news from Ecuador!
It’s just declared the protection of the country’s first national park in 9 years – the Rio Negro – Sophadora National Park.
It’s an important protection. The reserve fills a big gap in a Páramo and Cloud Forest down the eastern Andes. It’s between two national parks – the Sangay and Podocarpus. What’s more, a recent survey of its incredible wildlife has discovered 3 news species – a frog, a caecilian and a salamander, so it’s very exciting.
This has been achieved through a number of groups working together:
The new reserve covers 75,654 acres. Nature and Culture International undertook a Rapid Biological Assessment which showed the region’s ecosystems to be unique for its biodiversity and endemism, and having dramatic altitude changes over short distances.
These altitude gradients encourage the evolution of diverse species and provide a critical “escape valve” for climate change. They give an upward migration path to cooler temperatures which help species survive as the climate gets hotter.
The Rapid Biological Assessment showed 43 species of mammans in the area, including threatened specials such as the Spectacled Bear, Mountain Tapir and Andean Condor. And there are also 546 species of plants, birds, amphibians, reptiles and mammals.
Supporters of the UK based charity World Land Trust helped fund a 447 acre extension to protect other areas in the Sangay – Podocarpus Corridor, namely the Nangaritza Reserve. It has foothill forests close to the Podocarpus National Park.
It’s really critical to connect large protected areas such as national parks, to ensure the health of wildlife population. It's home to birds such as the Orange-throated Tanager, Cinnamon-breasted Tody Tyrant and Ecuadorian Piedtail.
You can help by donating £25 to the World Land Trust’s Buy an Acre programme, and help it continue to fund land purchase and create nature reserves to protect threatened habitats and wildlife.