Rio Anzu

The first reserve funded by the Orchid Conservation Alliance was the 218 acre Rio Anzu Reserve at 3600-3950 ft asl, established with the assistance of Sr. Manuel Cajamarca and managed by Fundación EcoMinga. The reserve is on the Rio Anzu, a tributary of the Pastaza river, downstream from the Ecuadoran town of Baños (See Google Earth image below, left). This reserve was created to protect an unusual limestone canyon and a large colony of Phragmipedium pearcei (See image below, right).

The canyon of the Rio Anzu is a spectacular place with a unique set of plant species; a new genus of orchids, Quechua based on a plant found in the reserve.

EcoMinga is working with neighboring owners, including Sr. Manuel Cajamarca and sons, to create a conjoined set of reserves. With assistance from the Orchid Conservation Alliance, EcoMinga is currently (March, 2021) working to purchase a slightly higher elevation plot (4925 ft asl) of 120 acres. Both contain very rare plant species that are found nowhere else in the world. Among them are Masdevallia stigii and M. loui, as described in this reminiscence.

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