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Peru’s extraordinary Manú National Park sets new biodiversity record

April 7, 2014 Destination Global No Comments Email Email

Peru’s precious Manú National Park, located in the southeast of the country and easily accessible via Cusco, has set a new record as the world’s top biodiversity hotspot for reptiles and amphibians, giving Aussie travellers yet another reason to travel to this incredibly rich and diverse destination.

Image by Peruvian photographer, Michael Tweddle.

Image by Peruvian photographer, Michael Tweddle.

Manú National Park received its new title according to a report published last month by biologists from the University of California, Berkeley, Southern Illinois University in Carbondale (SIU-Carbondale) and Illinois Wesleyan University.

The eastern slopes of the Andes mountains in South America are known for their amphibian and reptile biodiversity however it was Manú National Park in Peru that recorded a greater biodiversity than any other protected area in the world.

The park, which encompasses lowland Amazonian rainforest, high-altitude cloud forest and Andean grassland east of Cusco, is well known for its huge variety of bird life, which attracts ecotourists from around the globe. More than 1,000 species of birds, around 10 per cent of the world’s bird species; more than 1,200 species of butterflies; and now 287 reptiles and amphibians have been recorded in the park.

Since its creation 41 years ago, Manú National Park has become recognised as globally irreplaceable: it was designated a UNESCO Biosphere Preserve in 1977 and a World Heritage Site in 1987. Before becoming an area protected by the Peruvian government, the Manú National Park was conserved thanks to its inaccessibility.

Now it is possible for travellers to visit the region and discover activites including rafting, canopy climbing, bird watching and ziplining. Lodge accommodation is based near the Alto Madre de Dios River or in the cultural zone of the park.

Other regions in Peru with incredible biodiversity waiting include the Puerto Maldonado and the Tambopata National Reserve.

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