Cloud Forests

The cloud forests, also called "ceja de selva" are ecosystems developed in the high and humid parts of the eastern slope of the Andes. These forests are characterized by a dense vegetation growing in multiple layers and colonizing all possible spaces. The irregular topography and the varied microclimates of the cloud forests create the necessary conditions for the appearance of unique species and limited distributions, among which are hummingbirds, arboreal mammals, orchids and climbing plants, many of them endemic. They increase the list of resources: the high precipitation, wich originates waterflows and creeks, the high capacity of carbon capture and the great scenic beauty.

The coverage of these forests has declined dramatically in recent decades due to the expansion of farmland and livestock, as well as the emergence of human settlements of migratory origin. The mismanagement of the basin headwaters, pollution of rivers and the wood and species traffic are added to the list of threats of this important ecosystem.

Conservation Areas

The abundance of river headwaters in the Amazon montane forests, pristine forests, endemic and threatened species require large actions such as conservation of entire landscapes. From ECOAN we lead the creation and management of Private Conservation Areas (PCA) in cooperation with local communities. Since the creation of the PCA Abra Patricia - Alto Nieva in 2007, four new areas were created with support from American Bird conservancy (ABC) to protect the important biodiversity of this region: Copal Cuilungo, Monte Puyo, San Lorenzo and Arroyo Negro. In these conservation areas we promote the responsible use of forest resources and recovering degraded areas through reforestation of native species. We continuously develop training for the communities in patrol and surveillance, and establishing guidelines for waste management.


Involving people in conservation through alternative and profitable markets is our formula to ensure our work in the future. Through Ecotourism we promote the conservation of endangered and endemic species and provide opportunities for insertion in the market. Within Abra Patricia - Alto Nieva is the Owlet Lodge, a space that has more than 5 kilometers of trails and a canopy tower ideal for bird watching. It is possible to observe the rare Long whiskered oulet (Xenoglaux loweryii), the Johnson's tody/tirand (Poecilotriccus luluae), the Ochre-fronted antpitta (Grallaricula ochraceifrons) and the yellow-tailed woolly monkey (Oreonax flavicauda). Near the town of Pomacochas is Huembo Lodge, a favorite place to observe the wonderful marvelous spatuletail hummingbird (Loddigesia mirabilis). Ecotourism with education and awareness workshops are strong strategies to bring people closer to nature and awaken their interest in conservation.