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Machalilla National Park




Location: Manabí Province   Map

Area: 751 sq km




Description of Machalilla National Park

Machalilla National Park is a protected area situated in Manabí Province of Ecuador. Machalilla National Park covers a total area of 751 sq km.





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 Capparidaceae

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.

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 and fauna;

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.




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