Lost Canyon Nature Reserve is a private wildlife refuge dedicated to conservation and restoration of endangered tropical dry forest flora & fauna, inside Lake Managua’s northern watershed.

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Lost Canyon Nature Reserve is a private wildlife refuge dedicated to conservation and restoration of tropical dry forest flora & fauna, with emphasis on the Nicaraguan Spiny-tailed Iguana (C. quinquecarinata).

Conservation and restoration of one of the world’s most endangered ecosystems, through native tree reforestation, along with management and protection of natural regrowth.

Little studied and greatly misunderstood, the Nicaraguan Spiny-tailed Iguana (Ctenosaura quinquecarinata) is a focus species for Lost Canyon and now thriving inside the reserve.

As a part of Lake Managua’s northern watershed, Lost Canyon is working hard to protect and revive streams and creeks under severe pressure from deforestation and climate change.

Nicaragua’s biodiversity is of world importance and its dry forest fauna is an indispensable part of that biodiversity. Lost Canyon was created to research and protect this critical wildlife.

Lost Canyon Nature Reserve is open only to biologists and other specialists for scientific research. Please contact us for an appointment. We hope to reopen to the general public in 2025.

Reserve Profile

Founded in 2005 by naturalist, author, photographer and adventure travel professional Richard Leonardi, Lost Canyon Nature Reserve is a 98 acre (40 ha) private wildlife refuge and tropical dry forest reserve located on the western slope of Nicaragua’s central mountain range. Reserve terrain ranges from 466 – 1,174 feet (142-358 m) above sea level; average annual rain fall is 31-47 inches (800-1,200 mm), mean temperature 84°F (29°C). The reserve employs area natives as park rangers and they share reforestation, conservation, trail maintenance and wildlife monitoring responsibilities with reserve founder. Several low-impact hiking trails exist inside the reserve, yet the majority of park terrain is totally void of human access to minimize disturbance of native fauna. Reserve visits are currently limited to biologists and the scientific community until further notice. To arrange a visit please contact us.