Ama­zon Jungle

pica flormono

ECUADO­RIAN AMA­ZON JUNGLE

Cov­er­ing approx­i­mately 12000,000 H., the major area of the Ecuado­rian Ama­zon sup­ports exu­ber­ant veg­e­ta­tion that is typ­i­cal for humid trop­i­cal forests. Its west­ern limit is the Andes Moun­tain Range, Peru lies to the south and Colom­bia to the north.

Immense quan­ti­ties of mate­r­ial flow­ing from the Andes have been washed down the rivers, form­ing strips of allu­vial soils and ter­races that are used for farming.

mapaThe annual aver­age tem­per­a­ture falls between 25° and 25,5° F. Between 300 and 400 cm. of rain­fall are dis­trib­uted more or less equally through­out the year, although Decem­ber through Feb­ru­ary are the drier months.

The prin­ci­pal attrac­tion of the hilly for­est are, of course, the trees, some soar­ing higher than 46 m. Com­mon species are cin­na­mon, silk­cot­ton, jacaranda and sev­eral legu­mi­nous trees. The allu­vial plains, located on the ter­races of the prin­ci­pal rives, sup­port great con­cen­tra­tions of palm trees.

The prin­ci­pal Ama­zon artery for vis­i­tors is the Napo River, a major trib­u­tary of the main Ama­zon River. Its basin is 1400 Km. long and one to three miles wide. As a result of flu­vial dynam­ics, the Napo’s 130 islands are cov­ered by young forests, which pro­vide refuge and nest­ing sites for a mul­ti­tude of bird species, many of them migratory.

Along the length of the Napo, natives and set­tlers have estab­lished com­mu­ni­ties, inter­sperced occa­sion­ally with small hotels and lodges. Most of the shore is cov­ered with trop­i­cal for­est, and over thou­sands of years, riverbeds have formed many attrac­tive lakes.

His­tor­i­cally, the indige­nous com­mu­ni­ties have been able to main­tain a pro­duc­tive sub­sis­tence within the exist­ing ecosys­tems of vast for­est pre­serve. The most rep­re­sen­ta­tive are: the Siona­ Sec­oya, Cofan, Huao­rani, Quichua, Shuar and Ashuar.

The Ama­zonas ecosys­tem, par­tic­u­larly its trop­i­cal rain for­est, is con­sid­ered to be one of the rich­est and most com­plex com­mu­ni­ties of plant and ani­mal life in the world. The region is char­ac­ter­ized by huge and diverse amounts of flora and fauna with extra­or­di­nary vari­a­tions in their habi­tats and micro­ habi­tats.

In the jun­gles of the Upper Ama­zon 100 species of trees per acre have been recorded. In Cen­tral Amer­ica, only up to 40 species per acre have been dis­cov­ered. In the tem­per­ate forests of North Amer­ica and Europa, rarely more than 20 dif­fer­ent species exist per acre.

sapoThe Amazon’s rivers, lakes, streams and marsh­lands sup­port over 600 species of fish and more than 250 species of amphib­ians and rep­tiles. The lagoons of the Napo and Aguarico River basins are home to colonies of two species of cay­mans that grow to over 13 feet in length.

Typ­i­cal South Amer­i­can mam­mals which live in Ecuador’s Ama­zon include armadil­los, honey bears and sloths. Ama­zon bats form a cos­mopoli­tan group num­ber­ing more than 60 species. Other mam­mals found in the trop­i­cal for­est include tapirs, mon­keys, and ocelots (or jaguars). On a walk through the for­est, you will observe groups of mon­keys, boars and large rodents; and in the lagoons there are man­a­tees and caymans.

Birds are the rich­est group of Ama­zon ver­te­brates, and approx­i­mately 1.000 species live in a vari­ety of for­est habi­tats, lagoons and open areas. In all Ama­zon ecosys­tems, col­or­ful birds make them­selves at home.

Ecuador’s exten­sive national park sys­tem, sci­en­tific sta­tion and pro­tected areas cover nearly a 7.5 mil­lion acres. To pre­serve areas, Ecuador has cre­ated the Yasuni National Park Bios­phere Reserve, the Limon­cocha Eco­log­i­cal Reserve, the Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve , and there are pri­vate reserve like Yacuma Ecolodge Reserve and oth­ers. The Napo and Aguarico River basins offer mul­ti­ple pos­si­bil­i­ties for you to enjoy the ecosys­tem com­plexes, allu­vial plains, swamps and flooded areas all of which are inhab­ited by a vari­ety of species. The Yuturi, Yasuni, Tipu­tini, Tiva­c­uno and Cononaco rivers are com­pletely sur­rounded by vir­gin forest.