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Red-masked Parakeet
Lalo Loor Dry Forest
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Wildlife at the Lalo Loor Reserve


Red-masked ParakeetPacific Pygmy OwlThere is excellent birding along the entrance road, the self-guided nature trail, and along the stream, with a chance of seeing several rare species including the Red-Masked Parakeet, Pale-browed Tinamou, Pacific Pygmy Owl, and the Little Woodstar hummingbird.  The endangered Gray-backed Hawk can often be seen circling overhead.  Other species of note that are commonly observed in the reserve include Guayaquil Woodpecker, Pacific Royal-Flycatcher, Plumbeous Kite, Rufous-headed Chachalaca, among others. Biological inventories continue to add to our bird species list. Please submit any new species you may have observed at the reserve.


Capuchin monkeyMantled Howler monkeysThe Lalo Loor reserve provides a refuge for populations of many mammals characteristic of the region. Troops of Mantled Howler monkeys (Alouatta palliata) are commonly encountered, as they feast on the reserve's many fig trees. The occidental variety of White-fronted Capuchin monkeys (Cebus albifrons var. aequatorialis), argued by many to be a separate species, is easily viewed in the forest, where they actively leap through the canopy in search of fruits and insects. Peccary, jaguarundi, tamandua (anteater) and tracks of ocelot have been seen within the reserve, and in May of 2009 an ocelot was seen on the trails!  Please contribute to our growing mammal species list if you see anything new!


Physalaemus frogColostethus machalillaAlthough the reserve is dominated by dry, deciduous forest, it harbors an astonishing variety of amphibians. This diversity is due in part to our proximity to the wet and hyper-diverse Chocó forests of Ecuador's northwest, and in part to the year-round stream that flows through the heart of the reserve. The humid forest habitat clustered around the El Tillo streambed is home to many frogs and toads, most common among them being the little Colostethus machalilla. Even when the long dry season has reduced the stream to a trickle, one can still find frogs along its banks; when the rains return in January these frogs anxiously begin seeking mates, calling furiously both night and day.  Researchers and Ceiba staff continue to add to the reserve's amphibian and reptile species list. If you are planning to visit the reserve, you can download our new color identification guide, prepared by Carl Hutter.


Wood lizardPsuestes snakeDry forests, with their many rainless months, are much more easily tolerated by reptiles, whose hard-shelled eggs and dry skin confers an advantage over their amphibian cousins. The Lalo Loor reserve is rich in lizards, including several geckos, and has a diverse snake community. All those reproducing frogs provide a surfeit of prey, of which the reserve's snakes (as well as birds and mammals) take full advantage. One should be cautious approaching any snake: poisonous snakes are found in the reserve, primarily the Fer-de-Lance (Bothrops atrox); however, these snakes generally are passive and lethargic, and do not pose a risk to visitors if left alone. Research conducted in the reserve for the past five years by Arizona State's Paul Hamilton has added considerably to the reserve's species list of reptile and amphibian species (photos and details are available at


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