Arútam Rainforest Reserve
FUNDECOIPA owns and manage a 2600 acre large reserve that surrounds the community Arútam. The community and reserve is located at the base of the Andean Foothills at an altitude varying from 550 to 1000 meters above sea level.
The reserve lies in one of the world’s biodiversity hotspots and is connected to another 250.000 acres of communally owned forest that melts together with a huge patch of undisturbed forest all the way into Peru and Brazil.
The flora of the reserve is extremely varied, with everything from poducarpus to mahogany, palms, bromeliads and an overwhelming variety of orchids. The fauna is just as varied, including species such as: Pumas, howler monkeys, saki monkeys, tamarin monkeys, nocturnal monkeys, squirrels, white-lipped and collared peccaries, ocelots, margay cats, sloths, anteaters, armadillos, coatis, agoutis, pacas, otters, caimans and occasionally jaguars and tapirs.
The birds are even more numerous and represent species such as military macaws, parakeets, toucans, curassows, guans, hummingbirds, manakins, antbirds, tanagers, tinamous and oropendulas. Local villagers can name and know more than 220 species of birds that are present in the immediate surroundings of the community.
One hectare (2.5 acres) of rainforest in Ecuador and Arútam can contain over 750 types of trees and 1.500 species of higher plants. In total in Ecuador, there is an estimate of some 25.000 species of plants alone (compared to 17000 species in the whole of North America) and there are 1600 birds found in the country which is more than double the species in Europe.
There are 369 known species of mammals, 350 species of reptiles - containing over 200 species of snakes alone. There exist around 400 amphibians in the country, which is the most species of frogs in the world as well as an estimated 800 species of fish in the Amazon waters. The number of invertebrates, especially the insects is unknown but they are the most numerous of any living creatures, reaching into the hundreds of thousands.