ABOUT TAPICHALACA RESERVE
Province: Zamora Chinchipe
Nearby communities: Yangana and Valladolid
Creation date: September 1998
Area: 3.500 hectares
Temperature: 10 - 20ºC
Ecosystem: Cloudy and humid montane forest; Up to 5000 millimeters of rain per year.
Altitudinal range: 1800 - 3400 m
Tapichalaca is the first reserve of Fundación de Conservación Jocotoco. It was created to protect the last remaining habitat of the Jocotoco Antpitta. This reserve is home to more than half of the global population of the species. In 2004, the reserve expanded beyond Cerro Tapichalaca, reaching the west side of the Valladolid / Tapichalaca river basin.
In 2009, the Yacuri National Park was established to the West of Tapichalaca, increasing the protection of this unique area of the southern Andes. Tapichalaca plays an important role as a buffer zone between the Podocarpus and Yacuri National Parks. These three conservation blocks cover an enormous area of pristine montane forests with extremely high biodiversity.
HOW TO GET THERE
From the city of Loja: Take the main road to the south towards the city of Zumba and the Peruvian border. This road passes through the towns of Malacatos, Vilcabamba, Yangana and Valladolid. After about 10 kilometers past Valladolid you will be entering the "Tapichalaca Reserve." After crossing the "Quebrada de los Muertos", another 10 kilometers later, there is a monument called "Cruz del Soldado". Follow another half kilometer and you will find yourself in front of the entrance to the Tapichalaca Reserve and its Ecolodge: Simpson House.
The hours of service for the visit of trails is from 07h00 to 15h30.
NOTE: The animals in the reserves must be fed ONLY by the persons in charge.
The Tapichalaca Reserve hosts an extraordinary wealth of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and plants; Among these are:
- The Tapichalaca Arboreal Frog (Hyloscirtus tapichalaca), which was discovered in 2001.
- Birds that are globally threatened, such as: the Jocotoco Antpitta, the Bearded Guan, the Coppery-chested Jacamar and the Masked Mountain Tanager.
- Other almost threatened birds such as the Imperial Snipe and Greater Scythebill.
- The reserve is part of an important migration corridor for populations of Andean Tapir, Spectacled Bear, Puma, Andean Paca, Red-Sprocket Deer and Andean Coati.
- Tapichalaca has more than 130 species of Ecuadorian endemic plants, 90% of them classified as threatened according to the Red Book of Plants. Approximately 50 of these species are endemic, and hundreds of orchid species, 30 local ones, have been registered. In 2004, the Bomarea longipesen liana was rediscovered in the Cerro Tapichalaca, as well as populations of Romerillos (Podocarpus spp.)
Although the reserve serves as a transition for some species, its biological population is more concentrated in birds, since we have more than 300 species present in the reserve and in adjacent areas.
PLACES OF INTEREST
Outside the Lodge
- Jocotoco Antpitta feeding station
- 8 paths of different difficulties
- Palanda archaelogical site: Santa Ana Archaeological Center- Florida of Culture (One hour south of the reserve).
OTHER IMPORTANT ASPECTS
The Tapichalaca reserve is the first created by the Jocotoco Foundation, thanks to the discovery of the Jocotoco Antpitta. This bird was discovered by the ornithologist Robert Ridgely, in the year of 1997, in his honor it was named "Grallaria ridgelyi."