The Biosphere Reserve is one of the areas with the greatest biological diversity in the Neotropics. It has an area of 1´140.080 ha, including the two provinces of Loja and Zamora Chinchipe, 10 cantons and 48 parishes. Its core zone includes three SNAP protected areas that are: Podocarpus National Park, Yacuri National Park and Cerro Plateado Biological Reserve.
Designation date: 2013
Surface : 1,140,080 ha
- Core area(s): 228.465 ha
- Buffer zone(s): 231.962 ha
- Transition zone(s): 679,653 ha
Location: 17,2°55'25,1''S - 79°21'57,2''W
Within the Biosphere Reserve's flora, there are 4,191 plant species. It is almost 25% of the flora recorded in Ecuador in only 4% of the national territory. The area has a high level of endemism in relation to the rest of the of Ecuador, considering 211 species of endemic plants.
In terms of fauna, the Biosphere Reserve is home to half of Ecuador's bird species, with only 4% of the national territory. 629 bird species are registered, of which 55 are in one of the country's endemism zones.
In the case of larger mammals such as the Andean Bear, the RBPC integrates the largest block of habitat available for this species in its entire range, within the Northern Andes Ecoregional Complex (CEAN).
It is estimated that there are 1,729,000 inhabitants within the Biosphere Reserve, concentrated especially within the transition zone in the cities of Loja, Catamayo and Zamora. In the buffer zone, about 0.6% of the reserve's total population is influenced by mestizo cultures of Palta, Saraguro (Quichua) and Shuar origin.
In the transition zone, rural populations are mainly engaged in activities related to the primary sector, including cattle ranching for milk and meat, agriculture, artisanal mining and timber extraction in certain sectors.
Last updated: June 2019