Sangay National Park is a UNESCO listed World Heritage Site that is located in the Cordillera Oriental region of the Andes in central Ecuador. The park features 3 volcanoes namely; El Altar at 5139 meters high, the Tungurahua at 5016 meters high and the Sangay at 5230 meters high. Sangay and Tungurahua are active volcanoes. Sangay is given to violent eruptions that spew hot rocks and tephra. The last eruption of Tungurahua occurred in 1916 to 1925. El Altar is regarded as an extinct volcano and features an eroded and glaciated caldera.
Sangay National Park is characterized by 3 major landscapes including alluvial fans, High Andes and Eastern Foothills.
Cordillera Oriental Region is home to several major rivers that drain into the Amazon Basin. The rivers are characterized with rapid and dramatic changes in water levels. It is home to hanging valleys, glaciated zone, and numerous lakes such as the Laguna Pintada which measures 5 kilometers in length
The principal factors that influence vegetation at this level are the altitude and rainfall. The western region is characterized with more luxuriant vegetation. On the higher levels, you will find the Alpine tundra vegetation that is made up of the lichens and bryophytes.
At 3750 meters – The Montane rainforest occurs at the eastern slopes
At 2000 to 3000 meters – At this altitude, you will find the lower montane rainforest on the steep-sided valleys.
Below 2000 meters – A subtropical rainforest occurs. The temperatures at this level ranges from 18 degrees centigrade to 24 degrees centigrade and rainfall may reach 5000 millimeters.
Among the species found here include the Lauraceae and Moraceae families
1. Mammal species
- Tapir, puma, guinea pig and Andean fox occur at the highest altitudes
- Other animal species found here include; spectacled bear, jaguar, ocelot, margay, white-tailed deer, brocket deer, pudu and giant otter
2. Avifauna Species
The park is home to 10 bird species that are only found in eastern Andes of Ecuador and northern Peru. It is also home to 15 restricted range species.
Other noteworthy species found here include altar, cubillin and quilimas, cork of the rock, giant hummingbird, torrent duck, king vulture and swallow-tailed kite.
Your trip to this wildlife haven will take your desire for exploration to the next level. This is one of the best places to visit in Latin America.
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