EcoMinga Foundation's Rio Zuñac Reserve

The Rio Zunac basin is part of the Rio Topo-Rio Zunac side valley of the Upper Rio Pastaza Watershed. This Topo-Zunac side valley is a center of plant endemism with at least 20 species unique to the area. The valley is bordered on the east by the Cordillera Abitagua, a very rich center of plant endemism with many endemic species, mostly orchids. Though the higher parts of the Cordillera Abitagua are part of the Llanganates National Park, the rich middle slopes and the lower Topo-Zunac valley are unprotected. Our project protects these middle and lower slopes, and also serves to protect the national park.


Ministerio del Ambiente employees are taking GPS readings in our reserve.
This reserve lies in the eastern foothills of the Andes.

The orchid Dracula fuligifera is known only from the Topo-Zuñac watershed.



This newly discovered Dracula appears to be a new subspecies of Dracula exasperata, formerly thought to be a rare Colombian endemic.



Teagueia zeus is another of the many orchid species that are found only in the Topo-Zuñac watershed on the slopes and crest of the Cordillera Abitagua.



There have been several interesting local species radiations in the area. Here are two members of a local evolutionary radiation in a clade of the orchid genus Lepanthes. On the left is a new species just described by one of us as L. spruceana, after the first explorer of the Cordillera Abitagua, Richard Spruce. On the right is another newly discovered species which still hasn't been described...



The Red Brocket Deer is common on the reserve, and very confiding.



One of the most striking things about the reserve is the transparency of the water, which is so clear it hardly appears in this photograph of the river. The rock at the bottom of the photo is under a meter of water.



Make a tax-deductible donation to EcoMinga via one of our US or UK partners.


Our partners in the US and UK are the Orchid Conservation Alliance, the World Land Trust (US) and World Land Trust (UK). All are registered charities in their respective countries and donations made to them for EcoMinga are tax-deductible. We are also now participants in the Orchid Conservation Coalition's "1% for Conservation" program. Write these foundations directly to make donations, and write me for more information:


EcoMinga would like to thank the following organizations and people who have contributed to EcoMinga's land purchases or have supported scientific work related to EcoMinga:
PriceWaterhouse Cooper
Puro Coffee (Andy Orchard)
John and the late Ruth Moore
Dr. Malli and Vera Lee Rao
Dr. Steve Beckendorf and Cindy Hill
Dr. Nigel Simpson, O.B.E
South East Pennsylvania Orchid Society (SEPOS)
Jardin Botanique de Montréal
Orchid societies of the Bay Area, California
CEIBA Foundation
Wild Waters Foundation
Henri Botter and Ardy van Ooij
Orchid Growers Guild (Madison, WI)
Hilo Orchid Society, Hawaii
Pauline Brault
Atlanta Orchid Society
Marisol Villagomez
Dr. Anne Chao
John Little
Dr. Mary Gerritesen
Angela Mirro
Sam Crothers
Bryon K. Rinke



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