Through the social network Twitter, the International Committee of Biospheres of the Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization of the United Nations (UNESCO) accepted and approved, without observations, the declaration of the Massif of El Cajas as a World Environmental Biosphere Reserve, being Ecuador the only latin american country among the twelve places in the world that were qualified a biosphere reserves.
This Ecuadorian park, which covered parts of the provinces of Azuay, Cañar, Guayas and El Oro, from the moor to a coastal marine farm in the Gulf of Guayaquil, has protected areas, such as the Cajas National Park , the National Area of Protection and Recreation of Quimsacocha.
In 1977, this reserve was declared a Natural Protected Area of the State. It was subsequently credited with the titles Ramsar Wetland of International Importance and International Area for Birds Conservation. It is pending the candidacy for Natural Heritage Site.
Cajas National Park is known for its mountain ecosystems of Andean valley, in addition it comprises a mile of sea, mangrove and vast flora and fauna. It has 235 glacial lakes, making it a wetland that provides water to Cuenca. There are 28,544 ha, located between 3,160 and 4,450 meters above sea level, with extraordinary landscapes.
In fact, the report presented to UNESCO notes that the Massif El Cajas provides water to produce over 51% of the country’s hydropower and supports agricultural business and activities for 850.000 people living in the buffer and transition zones.
Within the National Park El Cajas and Quimsacocha all the mammals (mastofauna) have been registered. This has been done through 20 trap-cameras in hidden places. After two years of studies, it has located more than 15 species of mammals that even forest-rangers haven’t seen in the last 20 years, as the boy spotted ocelot,the puma, the paramo wolf, and the spectacled bear. Also in this registry there are 145 endemic species of flora and over 152 species of birds like hummingbirds, curiquingues, blackbirds, turkeys, among others.
According to technical studies, the origin of rocks of this National Park corresponds to the Mesozoic era (200 million years ago) formed by volcanic eruptions. While the lagoon complex corresponds to the Antropozoic era (2 million years) which is of glacial origin.
Ecuador brings to the world’s reserves not only the Massif El Cajas, but also 5,600 acres of biosphere reserves on the Ecuadorian surface and 13.5 million ha of marine reserve. This contributes with 20.1 million hectares to the worldwide system.
With this, Ecuador adds another the declaration to the list of the World System of Biosphere Reserves, which included in 1984 the Archipelago of Columbus, and in 1989 the Yasuní; in 2000 Sumaco; in 2007 Podocarpus El Condor, and later the marine reserve to the Biosphere Reserve of the Columbus Archipelago.