The pristine lowland rainforest
Panguana still lies very far from any beaten tourist track, and can be reached by boat and then by hiking only. The area’s primary forest begins right next to the station buildings. The pristine lowland rainforest stands an average of 25 meters tall, but is topped by individual giant trees rising up to 50 meters and more – most of them kapok (Ceiba) or certain fig trees (Ficus).
The Panguana logo includes such an ’emergent’, the majestic giant that towers above the canopy behind the station buildings:
Blackwater and whitewater streams
Blackwater and whitewater streams drain the thick primary forest, which also contains various ponds as well as pockets of swamp, riparian and secondary forests in perimeter areas.
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The climate and the forest
The climate reflects the location close to the Andes; the annual average temperature is 25 °C, but during the dry season mid-day peaks above 40 °C are common. Inside the forest the humidity is around 90 percent throughout the year.
At Panguana a network of narrow observation paths have been developed that total about 17 km (10.5 miles) in length, and facilitate studies of the forest flora and fauna. These paths stay well away from the reserve’s boundary areas, in order to protect the latter against intrusions from the outside.
Observation paths in the primary forest
The geographic location of Panguana between the Cordillera Oriental about 140 km (85 miles) to the West and the Sira mountains about 40 km (25 miles) to the East results in very special local biodiversity, including many species not known from anywhere else. This biological richness is increased by the fact that the distribution areas of quite many local species are mostly separate but meet and overlap in the Panguana region.