Top Ten Threats To The Most Biodiverse Place on Earth.
The Manu National Park is a globally renowned haven of terrestrial biodiversity at the meeting point of the Tropical Andes and the Amazon Basin in southwestern Peru, totalling a huge 1.7 million-ha. It has successive tiers of vegetation rising from 150 m to 4,200 m above sea-level. The tropical forest in the lower tiers is home to an unrivalled variety of animal and plant species. Estimates of plant diversity range between 2,000 and 5,000, with some scientists even assuming considerably higher numbers. Some 850 species of birds, 200 species of mammals, 68 species of reptiles, 77 species of amphibians, and more than 1,300 recorded species of butterflies , and rare species such as the giant otter and the giant armadillo also find refuge there. Jaguars are often sighted in the park. As evidenced by Incan and Pre-Incan ruins and petroglyphs, there is a long history of indigenous occupation. The local legend of Paititi, according to which the “Lost City of the Incas” is located within what is today the National Park, has lured researchers and adventurers alike. Today, various indigenous people are the only permanent inhabitants. Some of them are sedentary and in regular contact with the outside world, while others maintain a semi-nomadic lifestyle as hunter-gatherers in “voluntary isolation” or “initial contact.” In 1977, Manu National Park was recognised by UNESCO as the core zone of an even larger biosphere reserve. Both the national park and the biosphere reserve are today under the authority of the National Service of Natural Protected Areas under the Peruvian Ministry of the Environment.
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