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Tapichalaca Reserve

Southern Andes – Temperate Forest

Overview

Tapichalaca is situated in Zamora-Chinchipe Province on the eastern slopes of the Andes, adjoining the southern limits of the Podocarpus National Park, an hour and a half from Loja.

The Tapichalaca Reserve, where the Jocotoco Antpitta was discovered in 1997, protects an unusually wet area of high altitude paramo (at 3500 m) to sub-tropical montane forest  (at 1800 m) on the eastern slopes of the Andes. This is the place with the highest populations of Jocotoco Antpittas, known so far and the feeders provide ample opportunity to see them.  Birds which have a very restricted range such as the Golden-plumed parakeet, and Ecuadorean endemics like the White-necked Parakeet are also to be found here.

Plant diversity is exceptional with over 150 globally threatened species, including over 30 threatened species of orchids. Nine threatened species of frog have recently been recorded.

Making A Difference
Since the initial purchase of 650 hectares in 1998, the reserve has continued to expand, and is now 3800 ha. As well as being an important area to protect for birds, it is also a critical area for the Spectacled Bear and Mountain Tapir which are quite abundant at the higher elevations.

 

If you would like any more information or to chat over the details of the trip we would be delighted to help. Telephone Telephone01964 552292 for more information or emailemail us today.

Facilities

Accommodation

The Tapichalaca lodge in the reserve has capacity for 11 guests. Rooms are simple but comfortable, with a combination of single beds, bunk beds and double beds, with private bathrooms.  There is a very cozy sitting room with a fireplace.

Food is cooked by local people who have been taught by professional chefs, so you can taste a combination of Ecuadorian and international food with some delicious hot teas.

Activities

  • Various trails through the forest from easy to moderate, for birdwatchers to enjoy the magnificent variety of birds found here.
  • Walks to see the marvelous Jocotoco Antpitta being fed by the rangers.
  • Short drive to lower elevation to below town of Valladolid, which provides a completely different set of birds (Eastern lowlands).

 

If you would like any more information or to chat over the details of the trip we would be delighted to help. Telephone Telephone01964 552292 for more information or emailemail us today.

Birding

The forests here are home to a tremendous variety of Andean bird species, with more than 300 occurring regularly in or around the reserve.  Flocks are a major feature, with the species changing rapidly as you move up and down slope.  Of particular interest are the coloured Montane Tanagers found here – there is perhaps no place in the world with a higher density of the gaudy, jay-like White-capped Tanager – and the wide variety of Hummingbirds constantly zooming around the feeders.

Thirteen bird species considered to be globally threatened or near-threatened are present in the reserve.  Threatened species are the Jocotoco Antpitta, Golden-plumed Parakeet, White-breasted Parakeet, Bearded Guan, and Coppery-chested Jacamar.  Near-threatened species are Imperial Snipe, Masked Mountain Tanager, Peruvian Antpitta, Grey-breasted Mountain Toucan, Greater Scythebill, Neblina Metaltail, Orange-banded Flycatcher, and Masked Saltator. 

Of special importance is the worm-feeder in the forest for the reserve’s flagship species, the Jocotoco Antpitta. The feeding activity was set up (with initial help from Angel Paz of Mindo) so that visitors could obtain close up views of a pair of Jocotoco Antpittas, and usually their offspring, and sometimes one or two other antpitta species.  Previously play back had been used but with increasing numbers of people coming to see this spectacular bird, it was soon concluded that that was not going to be acceptable over the long-term, so the feeding routine was set up instead.

 

If you would like any more information or to chat over the details of the trip we would be delighted to help. Telephone Telephone01964 552292 for more information or emailemail us today.

Think Galapagos

Rachel DexCall Rachel,
Ecuador Specialist
on 01964 552292
Contcat us online

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Tapichalaca Reserve

Tapichalaca Reserve

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