© Murray Cooper
ABOUT UTUANA RESERVE
|South Podocarpus National Park|
|Date of creation:||2001|
|Ecosystem:||Western Montane Wet Forest|
|Altitudinal range:||2120 2640 masl|
Fauna: Among the birds that can be observed in the reserve are the Rainbow Starfrontlet, Black-crested Tit-Tyrant, Piura Hemispingus, Chapman's Antshrike, Purple-throated Sunangel, Ochre-bellied dove, and Rufous-necked Foliage-gleaner, among others.
The Utuana Reserve was created in memory of Hanne Bloch, who worked in the protection of remnant western montane wet forest in southwestern Ecuador. It was initially acquired with funds from the Bloch family. Currently, Fundación Jocotoco manage the reserve.
Utuana, is a small reserve, but important for the protection of biodiversity. Formerly it was being destroyed because the local population had little knowledge about its endemic flora and fauna.
HOW TO GET THERE
From the city of Macará: Take the route Macará - Sozoranga - Utuana. It takes about 50 minutes by car. When you arrive in Utuana town, take the detour (dirt road) located on the right; 300 meters away is a sign welcoming you to the Fundación Jocotoco.
From the city of Loja: Take the road to the Catamayo valley and the city of Cariamanga, 103 kilometers away. As you travel to the Utuana town, take the dirt road detour located on the right; 300 meters away is a sign welcoming you to the Fundación Jocotoco.
Directions for the visitor:
- Pets are not allowed
- Wild animals should not be touched or fed.
- Wear a mask when you meet people outside your group.
Utuana Reserve protects a montane forest home to numerous species of birds whose ranges are extremely restricted and reported in a few other locations of Ecuador. The bird list of Utuana comprises about 110 species. This reserve is important for the conservation of montane species endemic to the Tumbesian region, including the Rufous-necked foliage-gleaner (Syndactyla ruficollis), the Grey-headed antbird (Myrmeciza griseiceps), the Piura Hemispingus (Hemispingus piurae) and the Black-cowled Saltator (Saltator nigriceps). During the dry season, the reserve provides a haven for lowland birds, particularly the Ochre-bellied dove (Leptotila ochraceiventris).
There are also some high Andean species such as the White-throated screech owl (Megascops albogularis) and the Undulated antpitta (Grallaria squamigera). There are two beautiful hummingbirds, the Rainbow starfrontlet (Coeligena iris) and the Purple-throated sunangel (Heliangelus viola). Other restricted-range birds present in Utuana include Chapman's Antshrike (Thamnophilus zarumae), Jelski's chat-tyrant (Ochthoeca jelskii), and Bay-crowned brushfinch (Atlapetes seebohmi). The Peruvian sheartail (Thaumastura cora) and the Black-crested tit-tyrant (Anairetes nigrocristatus) have only been recorded at this site in Ecuador. Likewise, the Rusty-breasted antpitta (Grallaricula ferrugineipectus) was found for the first time at this site. It has only been recorded from three other locations besides Utuana.
© Alex Wiles
PLACES OF INTEREST
Utuana is close to our Jorupe reserve, mainly our visitors do a day trip.
- Low difficulty trails.
- Forest of lichens and hanging mosses.
- Hummingbird and Tanager feeder.