Description of Limoncocha National Biological
Limoncocha National Biological Reserve is a
natural reserve located in Napo Province of Ecuador. Limoncocha
National Biological Reserve covers an area of 13,000 acres (53 km²).
The reserve is covered with two types of forest, to the north it is
covered by humid tropical plateau forest and is a plain that is
between 15 and 20 meters above the level of the lagoon. The forests
to the south and west of the lagoon are low and are flooded in the
period from January to May, mainly covered by flooded forest of
lowland palms (várzea or igapó) (moretal) and lowland lacustrine
Herbazal; There are also areas that were possibly in prehistoric
times sandbanks of the Napo River and are the preferred areas for
The Reserve is, for the most part, within
the Capucuy River Basin, whose tributaries are Playayacu, Pichira,
Blanco and Piñasyacu. Capucuy, Jivino and Indillana flow to Napo
(upstream) when it floods the area; while the Jivino and Itaya also
drain a large area north of the Reserve. The lagoons and wetlands
adjacent to these.
Flora As for the primary vegetation, in
this Reserve there are species similar to those that exist in the
neighboring areas of Cuyabeno and Yasuni. Palms such as chambira
(Astrocaryum urostachys), Pambil, Ratama, and Ungurahua (Oenocarpus
bataua) stand out; in addition, trees, bromeliads, orchids, mosses
and giant ferns; In areas that were completely felled during the
period of oil exploration, Balsa and Guarumo trees are now growing.
The igapó vegetation has been identified south of the Limoncocha
lagoon and in the Yanacocha Lagoon. In this area dominates a species
of palm known as chontilla (Bactris sp.) And associated with it, is
the macrolobe (Macrolobium sp.).
Moretes (Mauritia flexuosa),
another species of palm, dominates the southern marshlands, which is
mainly at the southern end of the Reserve, and covers permanently
flooded areas. Next to these, a vines known as cat's claw (Uncaria
tomentosa) grows, much appreciated for their medicinal benefits. In
the mature secondary forest, huge trees of ceibo (Ceiba pentandra)
and cedar (Cedrela odorata) stand out.
general, the Amazon fauna in the Reserve has a high level of
biodiversity, but with a low population density. At least 53 species
of mammals 92 of reptiles and 292 of amphibians have been recorded.
In this area the black alligator is very common, and the water
turtle called locally charapa; Uncommon are: the white caiman, the
Boa snake, the motelo turtle and some mammals such as the black
guatuza, the woolly monkey, the howler monkey, Marmosetas, night
monkey, Capuchin monkey, "spider" monkey, the Ocelot, Peresozo and
the Capybara among others.
Historically there are 317 specis
of birds registered in the reserve, including at least two
endangered species such as marsh vulture (Anhima cornuta) and black
crab hawk (Buteogallus anthracinus), and an endemic to Ecuador that
is the Ecuadorian chieftain .
The Eastern North region of
Ecuador is listed as the area with the highest concentration of
amphibians in the world according to publications of the Scientific
American magazine in 1986 based on studies conducted in the Cuyabeno
There are a wide variety of fish in the
lagoon, including electric fish, white piranha, red piranha and
various catfish species.