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Limoncocha National Biological Reserve




Location: Napo Province   Map

Area: 13,000 acres (53 km²)



Description of Limoncocha National Biological Reserve

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 alligator nesting.

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.

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.

In 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 National Park.

There are a wide variety of fish in the lagoon, including electric fish, white piranha, red piranha and various catfish species.









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