The reservation “El Bosque” is of great interest as a natural area for the rich biodiversity that has, and has been called “a sanctuary of endemic species”. It is located on the western edge of the Eastern Cordillera of the Andes in the province of Loja between the range of altitudes 1,880m and to inland water splitter to 3,736 meters. It is located in the territory where the centers of endemism in the northern Andes and south Tumbesiana overlap, and influence of the “Huancabamba Depression”. Among the outstanding species found in the reserve, are the spectacled bear (spectacled bear), the mountain tapir, puma and chonta (dwarf deer), carirojo parrot, toucan pechigris, bearded guan; as cinchona (scale), 4 spices Podocarpus, Ceroxylon palms, orchids etc. Within the reserve, the Laguna Banderilla with its mirror 22 ha., And its tributary Rio Banderilla and several streams provide water for more than 900 households and also several irrigation canals. The reservation “El Bosque” has been protected by Horton and Hofmann families since its acquisition in 1979 and linked to the Foundation for the Conservation and Development – Green Hills. To ensure the perpetual protection of natural and water resources, the reserve was declared Protection Forest in 1994 by the Ecuadorian state to meet the requirements “protector, scientific, scenic, educational, tourism, and recreation”. In addition, approximately 75% of the reserve is within the limits of the Podocarpus National Park.
The path to the Protected Forest activities “Forest” includes:
- Improvement of infrastructure and hosting services (house and cottage); signaling and internal roads.
- Cooperate with the study of the bear with the location of 20 trap cameras.
- Improve the participation and coordination with the water boards.
- Update Management Plan in coordination with the Ministry of Environment and authority of the Podocarpus National Park.
- Participate in the project “Restoration” of GADSPV making available seeds of native fruits like Toronche, mortiño, quique, joyapa, casana, Passiflora, etc. ACCESS: From the center of the town of San Pedro de Vilcabamba, (canton and province of Loja) can reach “El Bosque” by car (40 minutes) or on horseback (2 hours).