Manu National Park Flora and Fauna
The 1.5 million hectare Manu National Park is characterized by successive stages of vegetation rising from 150 to 4,200 meters above sea level. The rainforest of the lower levels harbors an unprecedented diversity of animal species. Some 850 species of birds have been recorded here, and rare species such as giant otters and armadillos also find refuge here. Jaguars are also seen in the park.
Location of Manu National Park
Manu National Park is located between the regions of Cusco and Madre de Dios at the southwestern end of the Amazon. With an area of 18811 square kilometers that is broken down into 3 zones that are Manu National Park with 15328 square meters, Biosphere Reserve of 2570 square kilometers and the cultural zone of 914 square kilometers.
Why is Manu National Park important?
It was declared Manu National Park as a Natural Protected Area and was designated in 1977 by UNESCO as a Biosphere Reserve. Manu National Park is important because it is home to an unprecedented diversity of different animal and plant species. To date, 850 species of birds and many unknown species such as giant otters, jaguars and armadillos have been recorded.
The extraordinary biodiversity combined with the large size and excellent conservation status makes Manu National Park a protected area of great importance for biodiversity conservation worldwide. More than 200 species of mammals, 800 species of birds, 68 species of reptiles, 77 species of amphibians and an impressive number of freshwater fish imply a diversity of vertebrates that can only be found in very few places in the world.
For example, more than 1,300 species of moths have been found among hundreds of thousands of arthropod species. Thousands of vascular plant species are found in a wide variety of ecosystems, habitats and niches. Hundreds of species have been identified, often growing in clusters in very small areas.
For decades, Manu National Park has been an important source of research material in tropical ecology. Thus, the property contributes significantly to our understanding of tropical forest ecosystems. Even the most experienced researchers are surprised by the diversity of organisms, as well as the abundance of vertebrates, especially mammals. Despite important research findings, taxonomic studies have uncovered scientifically unknown species, including vertebrates, clearly indicating that Manú still holds many biodiversity secrets.
More Manu National Park Facts
- Manu National Park covers the entire Manu River basin.
- It encompasses the eastern Andean mountains (cloud forest) and the Amazon basin (lowland tropical forest).
- There are between 2,000 and 5,000 plant species, including 250 tree species
- More than 1,000 vertebrate species, including 200 species of mammals and 850 species of birds, 68 species of reptiles and 77 species of amphibians in the National Park.
- More than 1,300 species of butterflies recorded.
- There are 13 species of primates
- Some rare species are: the giant otter, giant armadillo, jaguars, puma, Andean wild cat, etc.
- Pre-Inca and Inca ruins and petroglyphs indicate a long history of indigenous settlements
- There are small communities of the Amazonian Matsigenga tribal group, mainly along the Manú River or one of its main tributaries.
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