Sangay National Park


Sangay National Park contains two active volcanoes (Tungurahua and Sangay) and ecosystems ranging from tropical rainforests to glaciers.

It is home to the endangered spectacled bear and mountain tapir (both only found in the Northern Andes). The park is located in the Morona Santiago, Chimborazo and Tungurahua provinces of Ecuador.


Community Reviews

Craig C. Downer, wildlife ecol. Andean Tapir Fund IUCN SSC - August 2013

Yes, as a wildlife ecologist studying the endangered mountain tapir in Sangay National Park, I fought against the egregious Guamote Macas road but the road prevailed due to the violent threats the official received from the road's proponents. This was surely a triumph of ignornance and irreverence for life over wisdom and reverence for life. The Purshi Valley was one of the highest virgin Andean forests, reaching the way to Laguna Negra at over 4000 meters elevation. It was a safe haven for the endangered mountain tapirs. Here they bred and conducted their very benign million-years-old life style, seeding many plants and helping to build rich, humus containing soils. It is such a shame that the Guamote Macas Road was ever constructed, and I pray that an earthquake utterly destroy this abomination! Then the lovely paramos and cloud forests of this enchanting region can restore themselves and the destructor man will be excluded. Only those who enter with respect to observe and not to destroy will be allowed. This was, after all, the true law and international agreement that the government of Ecuador pledged to uphold in this region. So much for broken promises! What a disgrace! The best value of this region is to let all the many species who live here and have for millions of years, and including many wonderful orchid species, carry on in their uniquely beautiful and harmonious way!

David Hlatky - July 2011

Hi All,

My name is David Hlatky, I have dual citizenship (Ecuadorian and Australian); I grew up in Ecuador and lived there until I was 24 years old. When I turned 24 I finished my Uni degree and travelled to Australia to further my studies and eventually finished my master's degree in Environmental Management.

I have (sporadically - some time ago now) been in contact with Craig Downer from the Tapir Foundation and Mark Hockings from the United Nations.

I wanted to emphasise the fact that the national park is being exploited by increasing human settlements all along the Guamote - Macas Road. The national park is shrinking all along the road and settlements are going deeper and deeper inside the National Park. If no action is taken is only a matter of years before we lose critical habitats and species within the park.

I hope this letter is added to a number of claims already made from interested parties; I hope this claim does not fall into deaf ears.


David Hlatky

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Site Info

Full name: Sangay National Park

Site History

  • 2005 - Removed from Danger list

  • 1992 - In Danger

    heavy poaching of wildlife, illegal livestock grazing and encroachment
  • 1983 - Inscribed

    Reasons for inscription


The site has 1 locations.

  • Sangay National Park


The site has 24 connections.



  • Amazon Basin "Major rivers drain eastwards into the Amazon Basin"
  • Andes 
  • Caldera This first Sangay, pockmarked by secondary ridges, is thought to have been 15-16 km (9-10 mi) in diameter, with a summit located 2 to 3 km (1 to 2 mi) southeast of the present summit. The curved shape of the remnants of this first structure indicates that it suffered a massive flank collapse, scattering the nearby forest lowlands with debris and causing a large part of its southern caldera wall to slide off the mountain, forming an embayment lower on its slopes" (Wiki)
  • Glaciers When inscribed in 1982 Tungurahgua did have a "small summit glacier" but this melted away after an increase in volcanic activity in 1999! (It is not known when Sangay's glacier disappeared)
  • Individual Mountains Sangay 5230m
  • Pacific Ring of Fire 
  • Recently Active Volcanoes Tungurahua "During the past 1300 years eruptive episodes were generally once per century, and commenced with .... pyroclastic flows, followed by lava flows.. . This cycle was observed in the largest historic eruptions in 1773, 1886 and 1916-1918". There were also recent eruptions in 1999-2008 and 1944". Eruptions in January 2008 forced the evacuation of 1000 people. Two large eruptions occurred on 6th February 2008 with ash to 47,000 ft altitude. Sangay is one of the world's most active volcanoes with a current active cycle from 1934 to present. On 12th August 1976 and eruption killed two people and seriously injured three, from a British expedition team.

Human Activity

  • Natural sites with indigenous human population The resident Indian groups are the Quichuas-Puruháes in the northwest and centre, the Quichuas-Cañaris in the south and southwest and Shuar in the south and southeast. (UNEP-WCMC)

Individual People


  • Middle Pleistocene Sangay developed in three distinct phases. Its oldest edifice, formed between 500,000 and 250,000 years ago, is evidenced today by a wide scattering of material opening to the east, defined by a crest about 4,000 m (13,120 ft) high. (wiki)


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