Expanding the Narupa Reserve for East Andean Tropical Rainforest

Project Cost: $402,362

Funding Raised: $402,362

$439.73 per acre (1 acre = 43,560 sq ft)
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The Narupa Reserve is located in the Napo bioregion of northeast Ecuador, one of the most biodiverse regions in the world. Just north of the Narupa Reserve, in the Sumaco Napo Galeras National Park, 872 species of birds have been recorded, exemplifying the importance of this habitat. Enlarging the 2,850-acre Narupa Reserve is essential to protect threatened species from illegal logging, deforestation and agricultural expansion.

Rainforest Trust and local partner Fundación Jocotoco seek $402,362 to support the expansion of the existing Narupa Reserve by 913 acres to the west and north. This area is in urgent need of protection due to easily accessible roads and high development and encroachment threats. The expansion aims to improve connectivity of the Narupa Reserve with the surrounding large government protected areas (the Sumaco Napo-Galeras National Park and the Antisana Ecological Reserve).

Photo: Landscape view. Photo courtesy of Efrain Cepeda.

Fast Facts

Napo bioregion of northeast Ecuador


Key Species:
Black-and-chestnut Eagle (EN), Hidden Robber Frog (EN), Napo Giant Glass Frog (EN), Puyo Giant Glass Frog (EN)

Old and young secondary forests

Agricultural expansion

Land purchase to expand protections

Local Partner:
Fundación Jocotoco

Financial Need:

Price per Acre:

Total Carbon Storage (Mt CO2):


The Napo ecoregion is one of the most biodiverse areas on the planet.

Within the vicinity of the Narupa Reserve, in the Sumaco Galeras National Park, 872 species of birds have been recorded. The Narupa Reserve expansion area consists of 60 percent old secondary forest, with the rest of the habitat being young secondary forests and abandoned pasturelands. The proposed expansion provides critical habitat for range-restricted Andean endemic bird species and Vulnerable Neotropical-Nearctic migrant bird species, especially the Cerulean Warbler. This expansion also includes important habitat for at least four species of Endangered amphibians, including the Puyo Giant Glass Frog.  

Photo: Endangered Black-and-chestnut Eagle. Photo courtesy of Roger Ahlman.


Agricultural expansion is the main driver of deforestation in Ecuador, and it is facilitated by road network improvements to access oil reserves in the Amazon.

According to the Global Forest Watch, Ecuador’s cumulative tree cover loss between 2001 and 2014 was estimated at nearly 148,263 acres. Premontane tropical forests, the type of vegetation that the Narupa Reserve protects, are the most threatened by agriculture, with annual deforestation rates reaching 9.8 percent. Road projects have led to an increase of immigration to the area, and this combined with high birth rates has led to a dramatic increase in the human population.  

Photo: Habitat fragmentation. Photo courtesy of Jocotoco.


...the protected area itself is well-established and respected by locals.

No people live inside the Narupa Reserve or in the proposed expansion area. Although no communities are involved in the Narupa expansion, the protected area itself is well-established and respected by locals.  

Photo: Narupa’s Birding Club’s Birdblitz of 2015. Photo courtesy of Jocotoco.


Rainforest Trust and local partner seek $402,362 to expand the existing Narupa Reserve by 915 acres.

The reserve expansion is part of a larger conservation goal to connect the Narupa Reserve with the Sumaco Napo-Galeras National Park to the north and the Antisana Ecological Reserve to the west. Our partner plans to purchase 913 acres from different owners and marking the boundary with signs and posts. The Narupa Reserve is patrolled by two park guards who are employed by our partner. To become financially self-sustaining, our partner aims to attract tourists and birdwatchers to view rare Black Tinamous and Pink-Throated Brilliants. (Photo: Members of conservation team. Photo courtesy of Jocotoco.)