Monday, May 15, 2017

Guayaquil's Historic Park Wildlife

“Nature is not a place to visit. It is home.”
-- Gary Snyder

Free attractions abound in Guayaquil, Ecuador's largest city. I highlighted three in an earlier post. One of my favorites is a historical park full of plants and animals.

Parque Histórico (Historic Park) is a relaxing retreat in the big city. The park has three distinct areas - wildlife, historic architecture, and traditional lifestyle. Today I focus only on wildlife.

The park's plants and animals are all native to Ecuador. Some animals injured in the wild find homes here.

Meandering through the park, pausing frequently to listen to the birds is a relaxing way to spend a morning or afternoon. Raised walkways provide incredible proximity for visitors.
Visitors are close to nature on raised walkways
Parque Histórico

Let's meet some residents!

Parrots
Fourty-seven species of parrots have been recorded in Ecuador. In Parque Histórico, there are a large number of parrots.

Injured birds are caged while rehabbing. 
Caged Parrots not ready for wild
Parque Histórico
When released, the birds frequently stay inside the park since the conditions are ideal for them.
Parrots free to roam anywhere
Many stay in Parque Histórico

Man made birdbaths ensure water is available
Parque Histórico

Ocelot
Carnivorous animals are not allowed to go anywhere they want in the park. Medium sized spotted cats, ocelots are found throughout Central and South America.

Ocelots in the park are in a huge metal enclosure made to look like tree branches. I was lucky that one of them walked in front of me.
Ocelot walking in enclosure
Parque Histórico

Collared Peccary
In tropical and subtropical Americas, the collared peccary eat cactus, vegetables and fruits. They sleep in burrows, caves and under logs or tree roots.
Collared Peccary
Parque Histórico

Spectacled Caiman
A gray-green small to medium sized crocodile, the spectacled caiman is found in Central and northern South American wetlands and rivers. The ones in the park hang out in a man made pond.
Spectacled Caiman
Parque Histórico


Harpy Eagle
The largest and most powerful raptor in the Americas is the harpy eagle with a wingspan up to 224 cm (7 ft 4 in). They are threatened by humans destroying their natural habitat in low lying rainforests.

Multiple countries have breeding and monitoring programs in an effort to increase the population.

The first South American captive-born harpy eagle was in Parque Histórico May 6, 2002. They only reproduce once every couple of years and have one baby at a time. Re population is slow work with this bird!
This harpy eagle, by it's nest, is more than two feet tall
Parque Histórico

Thanks for taking this tour with me. There are many other animals in the park who did not make an appearance today, including spider monkeys, sloths, ducks, and deer. 

Is there a captive breeding program near you for endangered animals?

6 comments:

  1. Hi Emily - lovely place to visit and one that is doing good for so many creatures and plants ... you must enjoy visiting. We do quite a lot of conserving and looking after wounded animals her in the UK -thankfully in a relatively enlightened country ... cheers Hilary

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    1. Thank you Hilary! I do enjoy visiting, it is a beautiful way to spend a day. I enjoy reading about UK conservation efforts on your blog.

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  2. So much to see and enjoy in Ecuador. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. There sure is! Thanks for stopping by again, Donna.

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  3. It would be so neat to see all those parrots hanging out in the wild. The only place we see them around here is in pet stores or zoos. I'm sure they are much happier in the park where they can fly free.

    The branch enclosure for the Ocelots looks pretty but it seems like it would make the cats hard to see, unless like in the photo, they are right up close.

    That looks like a great park! We have some wildlife rehab places around us, but not really anything for endangered animals.

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    1. You are right, Jean, the Ocelots were hard to find unless they were moving nearby. I tried taking some photos of one in a tree and you can't make out the cat at all.

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