Tapichalaca Reserve, Ecuador
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Tapichalaca Reserve, Ecuador

Thanks to your generosity, TiME will expand the Tapichalaca reserve, enhancing connectivity between two of Ecuador’s  national parks and protecting the unique upper tropical cloud forest and páramo grassland habitat of many threatened species, including the Endangered Jocotoco Antpitta and Mountain Tapir.




The habitat

The Tapichalaca Reserve protects the upper tropical cloud forest and páramo grassland. The very wet micro-climate of Tapichalaca explains why many species are found here that are patchily distributed and very difficult to find elsewhere, even in neighboring areas.

The reserve fulfills a very important and strategic role as it connects two large national parks, Podocarpus and Yacuri. Fundación Jocotoco wants to expand Tapichalaca by acquiring a series of properties located south of the reserve. These acquisitions will create connectivity and protect the key habitat of a large range of threatened species.

Ecoregion: Northwestern Andean montane forests (NT0145)

The reserve is home to many threatened animal and plant species,

from large mammals like the Endangered Mountain Tapir (Tapirus pinchaque)

and the Vulnerable Spectacled Bear (Tremarctos ornatus),

to birds like the iconic Endangered Jocotoco Antpitta (Grallaria ridgelyi)

and Black-and-chestnut Eagle (Spizaetus isidori),

to endemic plants like the Critically Endangered Bomarea longipes

and various orchid species.

Local Partner NGO

Status of registration at the national level

Nonprofit foundation in Ecuador

Governance and management structure

Fundación Jocotoco was founded in 1998 to protect the most threatened ecosystems and species in Ecuador. Jocotoco is governed by an independent, international board of 15 people from six nationalities. The board — of which 40% are Ecuadorian — includes scientists, people with business or tourism backgrounds, as well as career diplomats. The board generally meets twice a year. Each year, PwC audits Fundación Jocotoco on a pro bono basis.

Fundación Jocotoco owns two subsidiary companies, Jocotours and Jocoambiente, whose profits are used to achieve the mission of Fundación Jocotoco. Jocotours runs five lodges and one café at reserves owned by the foundation. Approximately 6,000 people visit our reserves each year.

Conservation Plans

Fundación Jocotoco has developed four ways to support land management in the long-term.

First, the Casa Simpson Lodge, an operating tourism facility within Tapichalaca, covers 30% of the reserve´s operating budget.

A second source of revenue comes from the research station, which houses up to 10 researchers.

Third, Fundación Jocotoco is developing a pre-feasibility study on issuing carbon credits. Annual payments for carbon offsetting should pay for the maintenance of the reserve.

Finally, Fundación Jocotoco has excellent relationships with local communities and local authorities. They are developing sustainable land uses in the buffer zone around our reserve to improve livelihoods while reducing the environmental impact. Jointly with APECAP, the association of local coffee producers, they have reforested 10,000 native trees on their coffee fincas below Tapichalaca Reserve in order to increase tree cover.

In addition, Fundación Jocotoco has collaborated with local authorities to establish a municipal reserve that improves the protection of the highly threatened ecosystem around and including Tapichalaca Reserve. Taken together, these activities will ensure the long-term sustainability of the land.

Black and chestnut eagle facing the camera on a cliff above a deep green valley in Tapichalaca Reserve in Ecuador