Tapichalaca Reserve

The discovery of a new bird species — the Jocotoco Antpitta — in 1997 set off a series of events that would forever change conservation in Ecuador. Ten months after the sighting, Fundación Jocotoco was founded and the Tapichalaca Reserve created to protect this and many other species.

Jocotoco Antpitta, Hugo Arnal

About Tapichalaca

In 1998, we worked with our Ecuadorian partner Fundación Jocotoco to establish the Tapichalaca Reserve, protecting this Alliance for Zero Extinction site for the Jocotoco Antpitta and numerous other globally-threatened birds such as Bearded Guan, Golden-plumed Parakeet, White-breasted Parakeet, and Spot-winged Parrotlet.

Jocotoco Antpittas are hard to find in their rugged and remote terrain, and the 2,745-acre reserve remains home to more than half of the Jocotoco Antpitta territories known. Tapichalaca benefits many migratory birds, as well.

In 2014, we continued to support habitat restoration at Tapichalaca, with 20,000 native trees planted on 61 acres to benefit resident birds like the antpitta and migrants including Swainson’s Thrush.

Tapichalaca, Gemma Radko

On the Slope of the Andes

Tapichalaca is situated just across the Continental Divide on the east (or Amazonian) slope of the Andes, adjoining the southern extremity of Podocarpus National Park and just north of the Peruvian frontier.

The reserve ranges in altitude from 1,800 to 3,400 meters, making it a cool and wet area. Over five meters of rain falls annually in this zone, compared to a typical two meters in lowland Amazon forest in Ecuador. However, this rainfall is significantly less than in most nearby Andean areas, perhaps accounting for the rarity of the reserve’s signature bird.

Tapichalaca was the first reserve that Fundación Jocotoco established. Today the group maintains a network of ten reserves, including Río Canande, Buenaventura, and Antisanilla.

Together these reserves protect Ecuadorian bird habitats ranging from tropical rainforest to grasslands of the high Andes.

Birders at Tapichalaca Reserve, Hugo Arnal

Visit Tapichalaca

Fundación Jocotoco has built a lodge at the Tapichalaca Reserve so that visitors and researchers can enjoy the splendor of this unique part of South America and see many fabulous birds, animals, and plants. Find more information at ConservationBirding or Jocotours.


Mount Tapichalaca, Hugo Arnal

Support Tapichalaca

Although legally protected, Tapichalaca Reserve management depends on tourism profits, grants, and supporter donations. ABC provides financial and technical support to Fundación Jocotoco to manage the reserve, expand the reserve through land acquisition, and conduct restoration where needed.

By making a donation to Fundación Jocotoco through ABC you are helping us, and Fundación Jocotoco, protect this special place: Donate.

About Fundación Jocotoco

Fundación Jocotoco is an Ecuadorian nongovernmental organization established in 1998 to protect land of critical importance to the conservation of Ecuador’s endangered birds and associated biodiversity. Jocotoco primarily achieves this by purchasing lands and managing them as ecological reserves.