The Coastal Wet Forest Reserve, Bilsa Biological Station, was established in 1994, it's the leading field research station in Western Ecuador and protects the last remnants of rainforest in the province of Esmeraldas. It is located approximately 30 km from Quinindé and 30 km from the coast, and covers 3300 hectares of which 80% is primary forest and 20% is secondary forest.
Bilsa is situated within a larger conservation area, the Mache Chindul Ecological Reserve, which has an extension of 120.000 hectares . The whole area is part of the Chocó-Darien bio-region (of Central and South America), which is considered one of the 25 hot spots in the world for its great biodiversity and high level of endemism of flora/fauna species.
Projects and activities:
Reforestation of 100 ha (IUCN Netherlands, SwedAid among others), 125 ha (FACE - Netherlands), 275 ha (CI-Climate Change) and 20 ha (Rainforest Concern).
Agroforestry project near the cabin complex, which includes 90 tropical fruit and nut tree species.
Various ongoing bird studies (Long Wattled Umbrella Bird, Purple Throated Fruitcrow, Banded Ground Cuckoo, Green Manakin).
Natural regeneration studies
So far, more than 45 species of mammals have been identified, including jaguar, puma, ocelot, jaguarundi, howler monkey and anteater, and more than 330 bird species among with the Long Wattled Umbrella Bird and the Banded Ground Cuckoo. With 97 different species recorded until now, Bilsa is the most diverse area for herpetofauna in North Western Ecuador.
There are more than 90 tree species per hectare and around 2.000 plant species of which more than 30 are new to science. During a recent study 380 species of epiphytes were recorded, of which 114 species are orchids.
Community work in ten bordering towns has included nutritional training, environmental education, agroforestry, health programs and handicraft production. A new community project will include further eco-tourism development.
Please consider supporting our efforts.