The equator national reserve in Ecuador

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<ul><li><p>140 </p><p>mise 5- contribution, surtout le Tapir pinchaque, dont l'effectif mondial se situerait au-dessous de 2 000 indi- vidus. </p><p>Pour ce mammif~re, qui abandonne son territoire dbs qu'il y est d6rang6, la capture et le commerce des b~tes destin6es aux jardins zoologiques sont devenus en peu d'ann6es un v6ritable fl6au. En 1950, le Zoo de New-York fut le premier 5- obtenir un sujet, qui p6rit de tuberculose en moins de deux ans, comme moururent ses deux successeurs. En 1966, un autre zoo am6ricain engagea des aventuriers 5- tenter de nouvelles prises. Ce fur un massacre: six moss de chasse avec des meutes de chiens et des projectiles tranquillisants tu~rent une vingtaine d'animaux, maSs aucun ne fut pris vivant. Des primes 61ev6es furent alors offertes, qui provoqu~rent une ru6e de traqueurs; l'un d'eux parvint 5- s'emparer d'un Tapir bon pour l'exportation --succ~s pay6 par la mort de nombreux autres. L'heureux chasseur, flairant la bonne affaire, organisa une v6ritable entreprise, non sans susciter quelques concurrents: 5 000 5- 8 000 dollars pour un couple de Pinchaques vivants au d6part de l'Equateur, c'est une fortune! Durant 1967 et jusqu'5- fin septembre 1968, pros d'une trentaine de ces Tapirs ont donc pass6 dans les enclos des trafiquants et plus d'une centaine sans doute ont perdu la vie, puisque pour un qui arrive dans un zoo, il enest 6 5- 8 de sacrifi6s. Depuis, cela continue . . . . * </p><p>Pourquoi tant de pertes? Traqu6s par des meutes de chiens et de nombreux rabatteurs, les animaux affol6s se pr6cipitent souvent dans le vide du haut d'une falaise, se noient dans les torrents plutOt que d'en sortir, ou sont bless6s par les morsures et les lassos. La mortalit6 en captivit6 est tr6s 61ev6e aussi. Tout cela pour pouvoir montrer une b~te rare, fragile et cofiteuse, 5- un public qu'elle ne s6duit gubre . . . . Le Tapir pinchaque pourrait bien disparaitre si l'on continue 5- vouloir le mettre en cage! </p><p>I1 est donc urgent que les jardins zoologiques renoncent 5- favoriser par leurs achats des entreprises aussi destructrices et que le gouvernement 6quatorien interdise l'exportation des esp~ces menac6es.t Mieux encore, il faut cr6er des r6serves naturelles o~a le Tapir pinchaque et toute la faune sauvage seront sauve- gard6s par une surveillance efficace. </p><p>C'est 15. l'objectif du Fonds Mondial pour la Nature 'World Wildlife Fund', qui avaSt d6jh confi6 en 1966 au zoologiste Paul Schauenberg, du Mus6e d'Histoire Naturelle de Gen~ve, Suisse, la mission de recon- naitre les r6gions de l'Equateur oh devraient &amp;re institu6s des parcs nationaux ou des rdserves naturelles; elle eut pour heureux r6sultat la cr6ation par le </p><p> Concernant l'6tablissement des parcs nationaux en Equateur, voir deux de nos num6ros pr6c6dents (BioL Cons., Vol. 1, No. 3, p. 251 et No. 4, p. 306, 1969).--R6d. </p><p>Biological Conservation </p><p>gouvernement de la R6serve nationale de Cayapas.* Deux ans plus tard, M. Schauenberg fut charg6 de recherches sur la situation du Tapir pinchaque, sur lequel il a publi6 une 6tude scientifique remarquable (Schauenberg, 1969). En 1969 enfin, un troisi~me mandat du WWF doit lui permettre d'assurer la pro- tection de cette esp6ce entre autres et en particulier d'engager les autorit6s 5- constituer une grande r6serve sur le versant oriental des Andes.t </p><p>R6f6rence </p><p>SCHAUENBERG, PAUL (1969). Contribution /t l'6tude du Tapir pinchaque, Tapirus pinchaque Roulin 1829. Revue Suisse de Zoologie, 76(8), 211-56, illustr. </p><p>PAUL GI~ROUDET, Collaborateur scientifique du World Wildlife Fund, 1110 Morges, Suisse. </p><p>t Nous apprenons de M. Schauenberg que le gouverne- ment 6quatorien vient de promulguer une loS interdisant toute exportation d'animaux sauvages vivants pendant 5 ans; il a 6galement d6cid6 la cr6ation de la r6serve nationale envisag6e darts les Andes (voir le prochain article).--R6d. </p><p>THE EQUATOR NATIONAL RESERVE IN ECUADOR </p><p>On 29 August 1968 the President of the Republic of Ecuador signed Executive Decree No. 1468, establish- ing the first National Reserve on the continental terri- tory of Ecuador (cf Biological Conservation, Vol. 1, No. 3, p. 251, and No. 4, p. 306, 1969). </p><p>This 'Reserva Nacional de Cayapas', located only 33 km north of the Equator (Fig. 1), comprises a con- tinuous range of ecosystems, from the Pacific coastal rain forest, drained by a network of little-known black-water rivers, up to the windswept paramos and to the glaciers of Mount Cotacachi (4,939 m); thence it ranges down eastwards into the interandean valley and to the rim of the crater lake of Cuicocha (3,064 m). This unique ecological transect, concentrated along a linear distance of little more than 60 kilometres, can scarcely be duplicated anywhere else in the world. A large part of the area is still unsurveyed and unmapped. </p><p>During the summer of 1969 the Forestry Depart- ment of the Ministry of Agriculture of Ecuador encouraged the World Wildlife Fund to carry out a project concerning the creation of a similar National Reserve on the eastern slopes of the Andes. The Executive Decree, declaring this eastern 'Reserva Nacional Ecuatorial', signed by the Minister of Agriculture on 4 September 1969, is currently being </p></li><li><p>Conservation Around the Worm 141 </p><p>submitted to the President of the Republic for his final approval. </p><p>This proposed National Reserve, to be converted later into a National Park, runs from the western slopes of Mount Cayambe (5,790 m) over the top of this famous landmark and plunges into the Amazonian </p><p>/ QI.I i to v EC UATOR'AL ( </p><p>fGuayaquit .."/ ,,,/,,/," *" ..... *""""" "" "" EC u a d o r </p><p>Fig. 1. Sketch-map indicating the two National Reserves of Mainland Ecuador, whose area is shown in the inset maplet </p><p>of South America. </p><p>plain over the eastern slopes of the Cordillera Real. This large area of about 100 by 85 km comprises one of the wildest and least-known parts of South America. In fact, most of it is as yet unmapped, and even aero- photography is wanting for most of its northern half. Altitudes range from 5,790 m to 430 m and the eco- systems are of unusual diversity. Its unique geo- graphical location--astride the Equator--combined with its most intricate physiography and remarkably rich flora and fauna, make it a most valuable treasure- house for scientific investigations. </p><p>The area which is to be declared a National Reserve has remained virgin and free from human interference. Amongst its principal points of scenic interest, the impressive ice-dome of Mount Cayambe alternately glistens in the pure-blue sky under the equatorial sun and glows dark-red at sundown. South-east of Cayambe, Mount Saraurcu (4,677 m) emerges from strange highlands composed of grassy paramos alternating with forbidding marshes. This region is the home of the rare Mountain Tapir (Tapirus pinchaque) and of the little-known and elusive Dwarf Pudu (Pudu mephistophiles). Farther east stands the grey cinder cone of the very active E1 Reventador (3,485 m). This volcano, sending ash rains over the capital city of Quito and across the Andes to the Pacific Ocean, is </p><p>so hidden among the maze of mountain ridges and jungle-covered canyons that it remained unknown until recent times. In 1931, an Ecuadorian expedition, led by General L. Paz y Mino, discovered it and climbed to the rim of its old outer crater. The summit of the inner, active crater has been reached for the first--and only--time by the Swiss geologist K. T. Goldschmid on 29 December 1944. But the foremost scenic landmark of the entire National Reserve is the big cataract of the Coca-River, also known as Goldschmid Falls and said to be between 120 and 150 m in height though no actual measure- ments have yet been made. </p><p>How many other places of scenic interest still hide in this wilderness? And how many undescribed plants and animals await the scientific explorer? Untouched by Man--there are no Indians in this area--the Equator National Reserve combines practically all requirements to become one of the most significant National Parks of Latin America, both scientifically and for tourism. We sincerely hope that the govern- ment of Ecuador will fully realize the value of this natural heritage, become aware of the vulnerability of its unique flora and fauna, and take every possible measure to preserve this national treasure for future generations. Nature lovers and scientists throughout the world will wish the Government of Ecuador suc- cess in saving its continental flora and wildlife in addition to those on the insular territory of Gal~ipagos. </p><p>PAUL SCHAUENBERG, Museum d'Histoire Naturelle, Route de Malagnou, 1211 Genbve 6, Switzerland. </p><p>NATURE PROTECTION 1N ETHIOPIA: ENCOURAGING DETAILS FROM THE EMPEROR </p><p>In his letter dated 4 July 1969, addressed to the President of the World Wildlife Fund, HRH Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands, HIM Haile Selassie I wrote from the Jubilee Palace, Addis Ababa, as follows: </p><p>'It was with great pleasure that We received your [Royal Highness'] letter of 2 May 1969 concerning Our wildlife conservation programme and plans for the development of Our National Parks. </p><p>'We are pleased to be able to inform you that under the direction of Our new Minister of Agriculture there has been some reorganization of the Wildlife Conserva- tion Department which has now been placed under the charge of Brigadier General Mabratu Fissaha. The </p></li></ul>