Wildlife at the Lalo Loor Reserve
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.
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
you see anything new!
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.
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 reptileresearch.org).