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CHURUTE ECOLOGICAL RESERVE
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ADDRESS & ACTIVITIES
ADDRESS OR VENUE
OPENING HOURS (or DATE if it is an event)
Km 49 Guayaquil-Machala road, Churute Ecological Reserve, Naranjal City, Province of Guayas, Ecuador
Monday to Sunday 07:00 -17:00
SUN AND SEA
Estero Churute is part of an extensive complex of channels and islands. It is the result of the union of the Churute and Ruidoso rivers. It also receives the contribution of the Cañar River. At the mouth of the latter river is the Isla de los Ingleses, a nesting site for birds, especially between December and May.
The estuary can only be visited by renting a motor canoe. A three-hour trip for the sighting of birds such as white, brown and pink herons, pelicans, frigates, kingfishers and ospreys. With good luck you could see bottle nose dolphins, crocodiles and iguanas. The boats are hired from community members. All visitors must be accompanied by official guides. The estuary is located within the Manglares Churute Ecological Reserve, created on July 26, 1979.
The most common invertebrates of the estuary and mangrove are red crabs and mussels, collected by the surrounding population to sell them in Guayaquil. Other species are the Mangrove Root Crab and the Mangrove Tree Crab.
The important contribution of the waters of the Churute estuary give life to the mangrove, with a very productive coastal ecosystem. Ecologically, mangroves are considered the nurseries of the oceans. Of all the mangroves in the South American Pacific, only the mangroves in Ecuador are accessible to the public.
Estero and mangroves are part of the inner estuary of the Gulf of Guayaquil and the lower basin of the Guayas River. Here the salt water of the ocean and the fresh water of the Taura, Churute, Cañar and Naranjal rivers are mixed. The wetland of El Canclón Lagoon is part of the Reserve. Deforestation to build shrimp farms is the main threat to Churute.
The numbers show the life protected by Churute: 450 species of plants, including five species of mangroves and 25 species of timber trees; 8 types of plant formations; 45 species of mammals including howler, white face or monkey monkeys, cusumbo, two-toed sloth, Guayaquil savannah squirrel, bats; 300 species of birds; threatened amphibians, iguanas, lizards and snakes. It is home to the dry forest of the Ecuadorian coast, unique in the world.