Yacurí National Park (Ecuador)

Yacurí National Park (Ecuador)

Tue, 05/16/2017 - 14:43
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Yacurí National Park is located in Ecuador bordering the provinces of Loja and Zamora Chinchipe. The park contains a variety of ecosystems: Southern Andean Brush Plains, High Altitude Eastern Andean Evergreen Forest, Southern Andean Dry Mountain Bushes, and Eastern Andean Cloud Forest.

Yacurí National Park is a 431 sq km (166 sq mi) national park in Ecuador, located on the border between the provinces of Loja and Zamora Chinchipe.

The park contains a variety of ecosystems:

  • Southern Andean Brush Plains
  • High Altitude Eastern Andean Evergreen Forest
  • Southern Andean Dry Mountain Bushes
  • Eastern Andean Cloud Forest.

The headwaters for both the Chinchipe-Mayo (east) and Catamayo-Chira (west) water basins are in the park. The national park contains over 46 high-altitude lakes.

The park contains approximately 280 plant species, of which 32 are endemic to the park. Two of the species are endangered and 11 are vulnerable.

There are 18 species of mammals in the park of which five are endangered. Mammals include the vulnerable Cougar, the endangered Mountain Tapir and the endangered Spectacled bear. There are 111 bird species of which four are endangered and 11 amphibian species of which four are endangered.

Some of the most commonly visited park features include:

  • Laguna Negra: an extremely deep lake in the caldera of an extinguished volcano, known for its medicinal waters and often visited by nearby traditional priests (or medicine men

  • Laguna Yacurí: the largest lake in the park and the park's namesake

  • Qhapaq Ñan (Andean Road System), also known as the Inca Trail, which passes through the park

There are also archeological ruins including petroglyphs, plazas and cemeteries on the western side of the protected forest.