Location and Values: Sangay National Park lies close to the equator along the eastern flank of the Andes mountains in Ecuador. It is one of the few places in the world that satisfies all four of the world heritage natural criteria. Its outstanding natural beauty and aesthetic qualities are complemented with exceptional geological, ecological and biodiversity attributes. The park spans a very wide range of altitude from the Andes’ highest snow-capped volcanic peaks (Mount Altar, 5,319m) down the eastern flanks of the Andes to the Amazonian rainforest at 900m. It encompasses two active volcanoes and an exceptional diversity of habitats including glaciers and snowfields, ash and scree slopes, extensive areas of wetlands, lakes, high-altitude paramo grass and moorlands, cloud forest and tropical montane rainforest. These habitats support at least 3,000 species of flowering plant, 107 mammals and 430 birds, including many rare, endemic and/or endangered species such as the mountain tapir, spectacled bear, Andean condor and Andean cock-of-the-rock.
Conservation Status and Prospects. According to IUCN’s Conservation Outlook Assessment (2017) the conservation status of the Sangay National Park is ‘good, with some concerns’. The IUCN report notes that current threats from small-scale agriculture, grazing, hunting and plant extraction are relatively minor, while the impacts of road construction and hydroelectric dams in the vicinity of the park are more significant. Climate change is becoming an increasingly significant threat with particular consequences for the melting of the park’s glaciers and maintenance of its high altitude paramo grassland ecosystem.
UNESCO Official Website
IUCN Conservation Outlook
UNEP-WCMC Site Description