The Cuyabeno Ecuador
The Cuyabeno is a unique place, the second largest reserve in the protected areas of Ecuador. From east to west, the elevation gently slopes from about 300 meters to slightly under 200 meters above sea level and has an area of 603,380 ha. It is a tropical flooded forest. It is portrayed by high biodiversity and high interaction between species. The Geomorphology in the region is the product of the movement of materials that come from the Andes in rivers; while they continue advancing down the mountains to the east they become larger and navigable through all the year. One of the rivers that receive all these materials is the Cuyabeno River, making it highly rich in nutrients and minerals. Following its course to the southeast, we found the Tapir Lodge. During the rainy season the river occupies extensive parts of the rainforest creating singular conditions for a Rainforest, new ecological niches and dream landscapes. Given its environment, the Cuyabeno Faunal Reserve is an ideal site for the visit of scientific groups or study groups.
Cuyabeno has 8 major ecosystems: seasonally flooded forests or swamps or varzea; semi-perminently inudated forests flooded by black-water rivers or igapó; well-drained forest located on small hills in the upper watershed and the areas between the semi-inundated planes, “coffee-and-milk” coloured sediment-rich rivers, the largest being the Río Aguarico; “black-water” sediment-poor rivers, like the tributaries to the Río Cuyabeno; permanent lakes that rarely fall dry; semi-permanent lakes – the largest being the Cuyabeno Lake that most of the years fall at least partly dry.
The Cuyabeno includes more than 12,000 species of plants, distributed in different hábitats, each of them with different ecological particularities. It is estimated that around 1,320 species of fauna exist within the territory, along with 1,654 mammals, 493 birds, 96 amphibians, 91 reptiles and 475 fish.
Cuyabeno also contains significant cultural diversity, given that it encompasses the ancestral territories of eight indigenous communities, including the Siona, Secoya, Cofan, Kichwa and Shuar.