Saving threatened habitats worldwide

Tapichalaca Reserve and Christopher Parsons Reserve

Current size: about 3,252ha (8,036 acres)

The Jocotoco Antpitta was first recorded on this reserve in 1997. Tapichalaca is supported by WLT

 


The Tapichalaca Reserve

The Tapichalaca Reserve is situated on the east slope of the Andes and protects particularly wet temperate forest. Photo © Nigel Simpson.

The Tapichalaca Reserve, where the Jocotoco Antpitta was discovered in 1997, protects an unusually wet area of temperate forest on the east slope of the Andes.

Since the initial purchase of 650 hectares in 1998, the reserve has been progressively expanded and habitat types from high altitude paramo (at 3,500 m) to sub-tropical montane forest (at 1,800 m) are now represented. A lodge for research workers and visitors was opened in 2001.

Christopher Parsons Reserve

In 2003, Sir David Attenborough launched an appeal that successfully raised funds to purchase the Christopher Parsons Reserve, in memory of the late Christopher Parsons OBE. Chris was the Director of the television series "Life on Earth", a Trustee of the World Land Trust and a close friend of Sir David Attenborough. The Christopher Parsons Reserve is adjacent to that at Tapichalaca.

The Rainforest Cafe Reserve

Rainforest Cafe, LondonThe Rainforest Cafe Reserve, funded by The Rainforest Cafe, London, forms part of the Tapichalaca Reserve and protects an area 7 times the size of Hyde Park. Rainforest Cafe are continuing to support WLT to save more forest in the future. To help, look out for the WLT logo on the Rainforest Cafe menu on your next visit. Every time you order the special rainforest dish, the Rainforest Cafe will donate 25p towards their reserve.

Wildlife at Tapichalaca

As well as almost the entire known population of the Jocotoco Antpitta, other Red data Book bird species are present, and of particular interest are flocks of brightly coloured montane Tanagers, and a wide variety of hummingbirds. More than 10 near threatened and restricted range (endemic) species of birds can also be found at Tapichalaca.

Tapichalaca is home to the following Globally Threatened bird species:

  • Bearded Guan (Penelope barbata)
  • Golden-plumed Parakeet (Leptosittaca branickii)
  • Jocotoco Antpitta (Grallaria ridgelyi)
  • White-breasted Parakeet (Pyrrhura albipectus)
  • Masked Mountain-Tanager (Buthraupis wetmorei)
  • Coppery-chested Jacamar (Galbula pastazae)
Maxillaria yanganensis orchidEleutherodactylus spinosus frog

LEFT: Maxillaria yanganensis This is one of the orchid species which have only been recorded from Tapichalaca.

RIGHT: Eleutherodactylus spinosus frog. The photo was taken by in September 2003 close to the visitors' lodge. MECN believes it is the first photo of this species, previously known only from a museum specimen.

Plant diversity is exceptional with over 130 endemic plants, of which 25 are considered Endangered and 95 Vulnerable. About 65 endemic orchids are recorded from Tapichalaca, 29 of these orchid species have not been seen elsewhere in the world. Nine Threatened species of frog have been recorded and Spectacled Bear and Mountain Tapir are quite abundant at the higher elevation.

The Museum of Natural Sciences Quito (MECN) commenced a detailed survey of reptiles and amphibians in Fundación Jocotoco's reserves during December 2003, initially at Tapichalaca. The Phase 1 report (Feb. 2004) has identified the presence of twelve Globally Threatened frogs. One of these is Hyla tapichalaca, first discovered in the Tapichalaca reserve.

Unknown Ancient Civilisation Discovered

In 2000 some artifacts, probably originating from a burial site, were discovered washed out of a road cutting. These have been studied in detail by a French archaeological team, and have been shown to be 4,500 years old. This makes them amongst the oldest known human artifacts yet found in the Amazon basin. This new culture has been named the Mayo, after the river which runs through it.

Carbon Balanced

Tapichalaca is also one of WLT's Carbon Balanced Programme sites. Visit the Carbon Balanced to find out more about this programme

Fundación Jocotoco reserves:

| Buenaventura | Jorupe | Narupa | Río Canandé | Tapichalaca | Utuana | Yanacocha | Yunguilla |

« Back to Jocotoco Reserves page

More Information on the Tropical Forest Project

To learn more about the Ecuador project visit the main project page: Help Save the Rainforests.

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