If you are exploring Ecuador along the biggest coastal city of Guayaquil, you may want to grab the opportunity to visit the thriving wildlife in the gulf that is its namesake. We are talking about the Gulf of Guayaquil.
This gulf is part of the Pacific Ocean. While it is named after the city of Guayaquil, the northern limit of this gulf is in Salinas in Ecuador while the southern limit is in Punta Pariñas in Peru. There are several rivers in both countries that end up in this gulf like the Tumbes River, Zarumilla River, Jubones River and Guayas River.
Discover the wildlife in the Gulf of Guayaquil
If you wish to witness the wildlife thriving in this body of water, you may want to concentrate on the Gulf of Guayaquil-Tumbes mangroves. This is the name of the ecoregion that is located in the Gulf of Guayaquil. This area covers around 1,300 square miles of wildlife.
This place is characterized by the mangrove formations that line the edge of the gulf and the land. The mangrove forests are flooded permanently and that affects the oxygen in the area. When you are exploring Ecuador, you want to concentrate on the cities of Machala or Santa Rosa as your jump off point.
So what can you find in this ecoregion?
The water from the gulf results in the extensive vegetation in the area – most of which are mangrove forests. Mangroves are known to thrive in water that have varying salinity. Since the gulf is where both fresh water for the rivers and the salty waters of the Pacific meet, you can understand why there is an abundance of this vegetation. Apart from providing food and sustenance to the various flora and fauna in the land, these forests provide protection against the weather blowing in from the Pacific Ocean.
If your intention for exploring Ecuador to enjoy its biodiversity, this place should be one of your target destinations.
From marine species to birds and other land animals, you will marvel at the diversity of the wildlife in this place. You can ride a boat to explore this region and the tour guide should be able to point out various facts about the ecosystem in every part of the gulf.
For instance, did you know that migratory birds – more than 50 species of them, choose this particular location during the winter? Birds that can be found here include the wood stork, horned screamer and the tiger-heron. Most guides would encourage tourists and visitors to come back at different times of the year because the wildlife changes as the season does.
Apart from the birds, there are also crab-eating raccoons, pacas, mantled howler monkeys, northern tamandua, Mexican otters and crocodiles living here. Mollusks, shrimps and crabs also thrive in this part of Ecuador. Shrimp farms can be seen in abundance in this place but they are currently being controlled to avoid the destruction of the mangrove forests.
Nature lovers who intend on exploring Ecuador should remember that it is not only the Galapagos Islands that should be visited. Take the time to go to the Gulf of Guayaquil and the extensive wildlife along its shores.
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