To Unesco home page

To sitemap

To MAB home page title2.gif (2287 bytes)
      Biosphere Reserve Information



  General Description   The Sumaco Biosphere Reserve is located 100 km south-east of Quito in western Napo province. There are numerous watercourses in the area, such as the Suno, Coca, Pitayacu and Pusuno Rivers. The Sumaco Volcano (3,900 meters above sea level) is a rather isolated peak lying to the east of the main Andean Mountain Range. It covers a large variety of ecosystems from the tropical highlands-Andean paramour to the tropical Amazon plains. Moist broadleaf forest with an abundance of palms is the major vegetation type. The area includes well-preserved corridors of habitats from the lowlands to above the tree line. There is a highly diverse fauna. Mammals include spectacled bear (Tremarctos ornatus), Jaguar (Panthera onca) and several species of bats. Birds include torrent duck (Merganetta armata) and Andean cock-of-the-rock (Rupicola peruviana). There are about 100,000 (2001) people living in the area, including indigenous communities. The potential for economic and human sustainable development in the biosphere reserve is based on three different aspects: traditional uses, sustainable use of natural resources, and the use of the biosphere reserve as a place where socio-economic conflicts and other problems can be addressed. The rich socio-cultural diversity in the region is believed to promote the economy of people living there. The main economic activities are coffee plantations, agriculture, fisheries, and production of naranjilla, use of natural resources in forest, agro-forestry and tourism.
  Major ecosystem type   Humid tropical forest
  Major habitats & land cover types   Natural forest including Alnus acuminata, Jacaranda copaia, Phragmotheca ecuadorienses etc.; natural bush vegetation characterized by Blechnum loxense, Cortaderia nitida, Chusquea scandes etc.; natural grass vegetation on high altitude characterized by Azorella sp., Werneria sp., Hipochoeris sp., Senecio canescens etc.; cultivated grasslands with Axonopus scoparius, A. micay, Setaria splendida etc.; cultivated land including Coffea robusta, C. arabica, Theobroma cacao, Musa paradisiaca etc.; agroforestry systems; residential areas
  Location   00°32'S; 77°28'W (central point)
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   931,215
  Core area(s)   205,249
  Buffer zone(s)   178,629
  Transition area(s) when given   547,337
  Altitude (metres above sea level)   +400 to +3,732
  Year designated   2000, extension 2002
  Administrative authorities   Provisional managament committee including the most relevant institutions and organizations of the Napo Province
  Brief description   Monitoring of precipitation and temperature
Water volume measurements in the main rivers with potential
to generate electricity
Interpretation of the advancement of the agricultural "front" based on satellite images
Basic mapping
Study on freshwater shrimp
Analysis of succession in secondary forest in the basins of small rivers
Study of edible mushrooms with a view to seek markets and
artisanal alternatives on the national and international levels
Study of hydroelectric potential in rivers
Identification of sanitary problems related to pigs and fishes
  Specific variables...    
  Abiotic   Air temperature, hydrology, meteorology, monitoring/methodologies.
  Biodiversity   Forest systems, fungi, invertebrates/insects/spiders, phytosociology/succession.
  Socio-economic   Agriculture/Production systems, economically important species, energy production systems/alternative energy, human health, quality economies.
  Integrated monitoring   Geographic Information System/GIS, mapping.
  Contact address   José Onofa
Ministério del Ambiente
Calle Madrid y Andalucía
  Telephone   (593.2) 3987600 ext. 1420
098316916 (celular)
  Web site

Last updated: 08/03/2011

To topTo MAB home pageTo UNESCO