The Yasuní National Park and Biosphere Reserve is situated in the Amazonian region of northern Ecuador. Arguably the most biologically diverse spot on earth, it occupies an area within the claimed ancestral territory of the Huaorani indigenous people. Yasuní is also home to two uncontacted indigenous tribes.
The Yasuní National Park and Biosphere Reserve is situated in the Amazonian region, in Napo Province in northern Ecuador. It occupies an area of 9,820 sq km (3,780 sq mi) between the Napo and Curaray rivers and is within the claimed ancestral territory of the Huaorani indigenous people. Yasuni is home to two uncontacted indigenous tribes, the Tagaeri and the Taromenane.
The Yasuní National Park and Biosphere Reserve is arguably the most biologically diverse spot on Earth. A higher diversity of reptiles, amphibians, insects, birds and bats has been found here than anywhere else in South America, and possibly the world. The park is at the center of a small zone where amphibian, bird, mammal, and vascular plant diversity all reach their maximum levels within the Western Hemisphere.
The terrain is very sinuous, despite being in the Amazonian plains. With the exception of Rio Napo, which originates in the foothills of the Andean Cordillera, rivers crossing the national park originate at altitudes from 300 m to 600 m (1000 to 2000 ft) above sea level. The topography is represented by low plains alternating with the foothills of the Andean chain, with a softly inclined platform supported by the Guyano-Brasilian shield that extends from the south of Colombia to Peru.
Three main types of vegetation occur: Terra firme, found on the high reliefs areas and not subject to flooding; Varzea, a forest type subject to periodic flooding; and Irapo in the permanent or near permanent flooded forest.
Cononaco is traditionally a settlement area for indigenous communities such as the Huaorani, Aucas and Quichuas. There are more than 9,800 people engaged in agriculture (coffee, bananas, yuca, paw paw, citrus fruit, maize and achiote), fishing, forest dwelling, hunting and gathering forest products.
Oil exploitation by the National Petroleum Company affects local communities’ social practices and the natural ecosystem. The objectives of the biosphere reserve are to conserve natural ecosystems, to provide protective legislation, in situ conservation, encourage regional planning and rural development, encourage local participation in land use and environmental education.
The Tiputini Biodiversity Station is a scientific field research center in the Ecuadorian Amazon. It is located in the province of Orellana, on the northern bank of the Tiputini River, and although separated from the Yasuni National Park by the river, the station is part of the Yasuní Biosphere Reserve.