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3.1 Jerusalem Protected Forest and Recreational Park

This 1009 hectare Protected Forest is located very close to Quito.   It is owned and managed by the Pichincha provincial government.   The elevation ranges from 2450-3000 meters and is one of the last remaining forest tracts in the area.  It is surrounded by farmland and much is up for development.  Part of the protected forest is undergoing reforestation and many areas are been recovered.

Andean Montane Scrub and Dry Forest.

Jerusalem Protected Forest and Recreational Park.

The site is located close to the small town of Guayllabamba on the the road to Puéllaro-San José de Minas. There is public bus transportation from Quito to Puéllaro from the La Ofelia bus terminal.  You could also hire a taxi from either Guayallabamba, or all the way from Quito.  The site is open from 9:00 am to 3:00 PM.   To request a visit you can call the Jerusalem office in Jerusalem at the Phone: 2237 811. When organizing your visit mention them about your special interest on birds and that you wish to visit the place out of the normal time table. The staff is very welcoming and open to help birders with their special time table.  The entrance fee is $1 per visitor.  There are camp sites for those with camping gear at the cost of $1 per person per night.  Further information, in Spanish only, about the Jerusalem Protected Forest can be found in

Jerusalem Protected Forest and Recreational Park.

From Quito you take the “Panamericana Norte” which is the Pan American highway.   Follow Ave. 10 de Agosto or the Ave. Eloy Alfaro until they end in the north of Quito.   From here the road becomes the Pan American Highway, as you pass toward below a bridge where you access the road to Carcelen.  This will be point 0.0 as you leave the city and start descending toward Calderon and Guayllabamba.  From here to a point 11.9 km down the highway there is a toll booth.  Past this toll booth another 10.4 km at 22.4km from Quito, there is a fork.  Take the left hand fork along the Guayllabamba bypass.   At 3.5 km from this point which is 25.8 km from Quito, you will be leaving the Guayllabamba bypass when you get to a roundabout.   Take the circle and exit farthest to the left toward Tabacundo.   From this roundabout go another 3.6 km at 29.4 km from Quito.  Along this steep valley and immediately after crossing over a bridge there is an exit road to the left.

This is the Puéllaro-San José de Minas road.  From this junction drive up the hill for 3.9 km at 33.3 km from Quito.  Take this road to the right for 1.2 km to reach the gate of the Jerusalem Protected Forest.    Past this gate about 200 meters you will find a parking place and here you will find the trails to explore the forest. The rare Stygian Owl has been seen roosting on the big trees by the entrance and other areas and the ultra-rare Buff-fronted Owl had been recorded from some of the forested creeks.

Birds to look for Jerusalem Protected Forest and Recreational Park.
Dry Montane Scrub (DMS), Grasslands (G)

Common: American Kestrel (DMS), Eared Dove (DMS), Sparkling Violetear (DMS), Azara's Spinetail (DMS), Southern Beardless-Tyrannulet (DMS), Great Thrush (DMS), Blue-and-white Swallow (DMS), Cinereous Conebill (DMS), Blue-and-yellow Tanager (DMS), Southern Yellow-Grosbeak (DMS), Blue-black Grassquit (G), Ash-breasted Sierra-Finch (DMS), Band-tailed Seedeater (DMS), Hooded Siskin (DMS).

Uncommon: Black-chested Buzzard-Eagle (DMS), Harris's Hawk (DMS, G), Common Ground-Dove (DMS), White-tipped Swift (DMS, G), Western Emerald (DMS), Black-tailed Trainbearer (DMS), Purple-collared Woodstar (DMS), Tufted Tit-Tyrant (DMS), Bran-colored Flycatcher (DMS), Vermilion Flycatcher (DMS), Streak-throated Bush-Tyrant (DMS), Tropical Mockingbird (DMS), Rusty Flowerpiercer (DMS), Golden-rumped Euphonia (DMS), Scrub Tanager (DMS), Streaked Saltator (DMS), Yellow-bellied Seedeater(DMS), Grassland Yellow-Finch (DMS).

Rare: Giant Hummingbird (DMS), Stygian Owl (DMS), Buff-fronted Owl (DMS), White-bellied Woodstar (DMS), Dusky-capped Flycatcher (DMS), Fawn-breasted Tanager (DMS), Black-and-white Seedeater (DMS), Band-tailed Sierra-Finch (G), Peruvian Meadowlark (G).

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Meet the Author

Lelis Navarrete – Birding tour leader. Lelis has 19 years of experience as a birding guide and naturalist in the field. He has led groups of birders throughout most of Latin America, guiding frequently in countries like his native country of Ecuador and in the Galapagos Islands, Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, Brazil and Panama. A Biology B.Sc. graduate from Universidad Católica in Quito, Lelis has supported Jocotoco Foundation since its founding in 1998 and was an active Board Member until 2010 supporting Ecuadorian bird and wildlife conservation. Lelis divides his time between his two great passions in life: birding and spending time with his wife Solange and son Fabian with whom he lives in Quito.


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