Reserva Ecológica de Manglares Cayapas-Mataje

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Reserva Ecológica de Manglares Cayapas-Mataje

  • Country: 
  • Site number: 
  • Area: 
    44,847 ha
  • Designation date: 
  • Coordinates: 
    01°16'N 79°00'W
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Reserva Ecológica de Manglares Cayapas-Mataje. 12/06/03; Esmeralda; 44,847 ha; 01°16'N, 079°00'W). Nature Reserve. Located on the Pacific coast near the border with Colombia, between the rivers Cayapas and Mataje, the site is a complex of estuaries and mangrove forests within the Choco-Darien-Western Ecuador hotspot, a region recognized worldwide for its high level of biodiversity, numerous endemic species, and priority for conservation. Sedge marshes, tidal brackish marshes, peatlands or guandales, as well as humid tropical forest add to its richness. The high productivity of phytoplankton and mangrove forests sustains a diverse wildlife, with reportedly 6 species of mangrove, 68 of fish, 22 of reptiles, 145 of birds and 53 of mammals, including several threatened taxa at national or global scale, such as the black mangrove Avicennia germinans, the Neotropical Otter Lutra longicaudis, the Jaguar Panthera onca, the Blue-fronted Parrotlet Touit dilectissima and the American Crocodile Crocodylus acutus. The Afro-Ecuadorian population at the site is involved in fishing, gathering of mussels and crustaceans, subsistence agriculture and livestock raising, and recently, ecotourism. Archaeological remains of the Tolita culture (ca. 500 BC-AD 400) are abundant. The area has been affected by the construction of numerous shrimp pools and the establishment of crop plantations. Following designation as a Nature Reserve in 1996, a management plan is in preparation with local involvement. WWF International's Living Waters Programme and the Fundación Natura assisted Ecuador in making this designation. Ramsar site No. 1292. Most recent RIS information: 2003.

Administrative region: 

  • National legal designation: 
    • Natural Protected Area
    • Nature Reserve
  • Last publication date: 


Ramsar Information Sheet (RIS)