Machalilla National Park is a protected area situated in Manabí
Province of Ecuador. Machalilla National Park covers a total area of
751 sq km.
Flora The Machalilla National Park and the
surrounding permanent forests include areas of garúa humid forest,
similar to the Andean cloud forest, in the upper part of the
mountain range. On the lower slopes the forest becomes
semi-deciduous and deciduous and, towards the coast, it becomes a
dry thicket where the vegetation is shrubby and stunted, there are
species of cardon cactus or candelabra cactus and the most
representative trees correspond to the Mimosaceae families and
In the primary forest there are groups of
guadua cane and large trees such as matapalos (Ficus spp.). Other
areas are dominated by palms of cade or tagua and in general they
are more intervened areas.
Remnants around the Park are
immersed in an array of disturbed areas, dominated by corn, banana,
sugarcane and grassland crops.
Wildlife The National Park
has an important diversity of mammals, including species that are
currently quite rare on the Ecuadorian coast such as the jaguar,
howler monkey, capuchin monkey, ocelot, trigrillo, deer,
white-tailed deer, mountain dog, raccoon raccoon , tayra ferret,
armadillo, rag-tail armadillo, cusumbo, coatí cucumber, anteater,
guanta, guatusa, white-naped squirrel. In relation to herpetofauna,
there is a species of amphibian almost endemic to the area, the frog
colostethus machalilla, in addition to the snake porthidium
lansbergii arcosae, also endemic, along with a remarkable diversity
of other amphibians and reptiles. 21 species of bats are recorded.
Sea turtles nest on the beaches of the Park and the humpback whale,
visit the coasts, where fish diversity is also important,
particularly those associated with coral reefs.
In Isla de la
Plata we find a great diversity of animal species linked to the
coastal and marine ecosystem, for example, several species of
gannet, including the gannet called blue-footed boobies, red-billed
Alcatraz, and the Nazca gannet. Another species found here is the
South American sea lion. Dolphins, such as tropical spotted dolphins
can be found in the waters near the island.
Programs and research Several are the norms
programmed to preserve the life and the reproduction of the flora
Eradication and control of animals, introduced by
colonization, which today is in the wild, such as goats, cats, pigs,
dogs, rats, vaccinated cattle, which spread serious damage to flora
and fauna. Protection of eggs and newborn turtles, which are
stored in special places as the necessary infrastructure, for when
the animals are ready for release. Tourism control Several yachts
are at the service of the tourist for navigation under the
supervision of guides specialized in ecology and tourism.
Research, science and education are carried out in the national
park. The national park lends itself to researchers, scientists,
teachers and students to propagate activities with awareness of the
universal value of the islands.
The marine area of the
Machalilla National Park was declared a Ramsar site in 1990.