Cerro Candelaria Reserve, near the town of El Placer on the Banos-Puyo road in Ecuador, is our largest reserve by far, covering more than 6000 acres and ranging from tall cloud forest at 1700m elevation to alpine grassland at 3860m. The very large initial purchase for this reserve was made possible by a donation from Puro Coffee to our main sponsor, the World Land Trust. Andy Orchard of Puro Coffee quickly became personally involved in the new reserve, even camping with us deep inside the reserve in 2007. (On that trip we discovered a new species of tree, Blakea attenboroughii!)
Since then, Puro Coffee has kept up their involvement by annually sponsoring the salary of one of our reserve guards, Luis Recalde, through World Land Trust’s “Keepers of the Wild” program.
As our way of thanking Puro Coffee for their support, we named both an orchid (Teagueia puroana) and a frog (Pristimantis puruscafeum) after them. In February 2015 Andy returned to the Cerro Candelaria with a videographer, Kendal Kempsey, to film the orchid and frog. This was a very challenging trip involving much harder climbing and hiking than in 2008. In spite of that, they had a great time and managed to make an evocative film including both target species:
The Teagueia orchid evolutionary radiation on Cerro Candelaria which I mention in the film is described in more detail here and here. The bird of prey shown in flight in the film is the Black-and-chestnut Eagle, Spizaetus isidori, subject of the previous post.