Yasuni National Park has many different areas composed by ecological and cultural diversity. Yasuni is one of the most bird diverse areas in the world
Yasuni National Park protects close 40% of all mammal species in the Amazon basin. Its huge size makes it a wonderful haven for plants and animals, besides their Pleistocene shelters contain high biodiversity and a considerable level of endemism.
The Reserve is located in the Amazon basin of Ecuador, in Napo and Pastaza provinces. It was created on July 26, 1979 by Ministerial Decree No. 322 with an area of 982,000 hectares. The Park is the second most important area for bird diversity and one of the two most important protected areas in South America, along with Manu, Peru (Ministry of Environment, 1999).
Yasuni National Park preserves a sample of the tropical rainforest of the Amazon that is distributed in an altitudinal range that goes from 200 to 600 m.a.s.l. It has four vegetation types: upland forests, forests permanently flooded seasonally flooded forests and anthropogenic vegetation. Yasuni hosts 173 species of mammals (90% of the species recorded in the lower Amazon region of Ecuador and 57% of mammals in the country), 636 bird species (41% of the Ecuadorian birds and almost 50% of eastern tropical birds), 111 amphibians and 107 reptiles (28% of the country of each group and 78% of the Amazonian herpetofauna) and 249 fish species (Ministry of Environment, 1999).
In the northwestern part of the park, six kichwa communities are settled: Pompeya, Indillama, Nueva Providencia, Añangu Center, Sani Isla and San Roque. The territory of the six Kichwa communities is the area of tropical rainforest, with annual average temperature between 23 ° and 25 ° C.
The life zones in the Park depends on environmental factors or dominant species, these are:
Evergreen lowland forests. This type of vegetation includes forests on hills and forests on flat soil, drained land that is not flooded, and forests on poorly drained flat lands. Amazonian evergreen forests are highly heterogeneous and diverse with a canopy that reaches 30 m high. In this life zone live inhabite species such as chicken blood (Otoba glicicarpa) and emergent trees exceeding 40 m or more in height like the chuncho (Cedrelinga catenaeniformis ).
Lowland Evergreen forest flooded by white water. Those forests are located in terraces on level ground adjacent to large rivers like the Napo, in this case, formed by white and clear water, with large amounts of suspended sediments. In times of heavy rainfall the lowland is flooded for several days, what enriches the soil with sediments. This life zone is also known as Varzea. The vegetation reaches up 35-40 m, with emergent trees such as kapok (Ceiba pentandra) with 50 m high. Are formed several horizontal layers of vegetation in different stages of succession on the banks of rivers affected by floods.
The best way to go to the Yasuni is acquiring a package tour in a travel agency or tour operator with all environmental regulations and licenses.
Since the Yasuni is an area of high biodiversity, the tourist area is restricted to its limits, it is also mandatory the ecological and sustainable tourism.
We recommend you to make community tourism because the native communities in this region are the best caretakers of the ecosystem of the Yasuni.
This area of incredible biodiversity is at high risk due to the imminent exploitation of oil. The National Government has a extractive policy which makes more difficult to protect this earth paradise.