SANGAY NATIONAL PARK (Ecuador)
1975 creation of Reserva del Sangay
1979 change to National Park
1983 record as Natural Heritage of Mankind by UNESCO
1992 extension towards South (almost a twofold increase)
Sangay National Park has been in existence for thirty years.
It is located roughly in the middle of Ecuador, as far from, or as close to, the Colombian and the Peruvian faunas.
It is very large 5000 square kilometers and the elevation varies from 900 meters to more than 5000, it so covers all kinds of damp climates, from cold to hot (scientists have determined nine different “life zones”!).
There are many rivers with an incredible number of basins, wether principal or secondary, and thousands of “quebradas”.
There are more than 300 lakes.
There are more than 60 square kilometers of swamps and marshlands.
Vegetation is exceptional, pure forest and pure paramo (there are very few settlers, so very few crops).
It is almost sure that Sangay is Ecuador National Park with the greatest biodiversity.
With such a biodiversity, it is obvious that it is incredibly rich in butterfly species.
Nevertheless, and in spite of the Park thirty years of existence, there never was one single study of its butterflies, and, today, we know very little of them.
Checking with Museums and with Andean fauna specialists, it appears that, even in the best collections, there are few specimens that were collected in the Sangay area.
The problem is the Park itself; nearly no (dirt) roads, and, out of the “pàramo” zone, very few paths, and an always dense and steep forest.
for more information on Sangay National Park: www.parquesangay.org.ec