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Machalilla National Park

A Ride-Along with the Machalilla Park Rangers

Machalilla's new patrol vessel, the Megaptera (Gustavo Crespo)

It’s 7pm on a Tuesday in Puerto López, Ecuador. The Megáptera, a speedboat donated by WildAid to Machalilla National Park, lies in the sand. Two Machalilla Park Rangers, Rodrigo and Wilfer, check the tide to depart on a four-day patrol of Isla de la Plata.

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A New Patrol Vessel for Machalilla National Park in Ecuador

The new patrol vessel, christened the "Megaptera," donated to Machalilla National Park.

Isla de la Plata in Machalilla National Park has some of the most biodiverse and productive waters on Ecuador’s coast. Known for spectacular wildlife sightings including giant mantas, humpback whales, sharks and sea turtles, it is not uncommon to see tourist vessels taking visitors to the island by day and illegal fishing boats by night. WildAid assisted the park this month in acquiring a new patrol vessel to protect these waters from illegal fishing.