An important Ecological Corridor between Antisana and Sumaco Reserves
NAFF was originally formed as a land conservation foundation with the primary goal being to continue the land purchase efforts already set in motion decades before by Cabañas San Isidro.Currently NAFF owns and administrates 800 hectares of land including both primary and disturbed forest, as well as regenerating pasture lands. Connected to Cabañas San Isidro’s 1,100 hectares of mostly primary forest, NAFF has been key in forming a complete corridor to the surrounding national reserves.
The reserve is located on the east slope of the Ecuadorian Andes at an elevation of 1,900 to 2,400 meters, about 2 hours by car from the Quito airport, near the small town of Cosanga. The combined reserve lands serve as the major nexus in the Cosanga Valley that links the Antisana and Gran Sumaco Reserves by way of a wide and splendid flat forest reserve (often classified as humid subtropical evergreen). Flat forests these days in the Andes are hard to come by since much of this habitat type has been converted into pasture.
From a conservation standpoint, this reason alone labels the reserves as a critical area in need of urgent attention. Many poorly-known and endangered plant and animal species seek refuge and make their homes on the property, most noteworthy among them being Bicolored Antviero (Dysithamnus occidentalis), Giant Antpitta (Grallaria gignatea), Peruvian Antpitta (Grallaricula peruviana), Giant Anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla), Spectacled Bear (Tremarctos ornatus), and Oncilla (Felis tigrina). Even more interestingly, San Isidro is home to a peculiar owl (in the genus Strix) that may very well prove to represent a new species to science; to date San Isidro is the only spot where the bird has been found.
In recent years, NAFF has worked closely with Biocomercio and GIZ to really foment the consolidation of a larger forest corridor that aims to protect the entire region’s biodiversity through community outreach, offering locals the tools they need to create more sustainable ways of life.