NATURAL HERITAGE IN PERU
The Natural Heritage of Peru consists of natural monuments and physical, biological and geological formations. There are also zones which the habitat of animal or vegetable species are threatened and places that have a boundary precisely marked which have an exceptional value to the world from the view of science, conservation and beauty of nature.
In Peru, we are privileged to have 84 of the 114 identified life zones in the world. The most representative area is the in the Amazon region of Peru.
Peru has a total of 60 natural areas, which are divided in diverse categories: park reserves, national sanctuaries, historical sanctuaries, reserve zones, game reserves, protected forests and communal reserves. The numbers are as follows:
National Parks (11), National Sanctuaries (7), Historic Sanctuaries (4), National Reserves (11), Wildlife Refuges (2), Scenic Reserves (2), Communal Reserves (6), Protected Forests (6), Game Reserves (2) Reserved Zones (9)
NATIONAL PARKS: In the National Parks, the direct use of natural resources is prohibited. They are areas designated for protection and preservation of intangible character. Entrance is limited to those with scientific, educational, recreational and cultural interests, such as tourism under controlled conditions. They are they following: Cutervo (Cajamarca), Tingo María (Huánuco), Manu (Cusco y Madre de Dios), Huascarán (Ancash), Cerros de Amotape (Tumbes and Piura), Río Abiseo (San Martín), Yanachaga Chemillén (Pasco), Bahuaja Sonene (Madre de Dios and Puno) Cordillera Azul (San Martín, Loreto, Ucayali and Huánuco) Otishi (Junín and Cusco) Alto Purus (Ucayali and Madre de Dios).
NATIONAL SANCTUARIES: Designated zones to protect a community or species, plant or animal, are the following: Huayllay (Pasco), Calipuy (La Libertad), Lagunas de Mejía (Arequipa), Ampay (Apurímac), Manglares de Tumbes (Tumbes), Tabaconas Namballe (Cajamarca), Megantoni (Cusco).
HISTORICAL SANCTUARIES: Dedicated zones to protect the natural scenery where national historical works exist are the following: Chacamarca (Junín), Pampas de Ayacucho (Ayacucho), Machu Picchu (Cusco), Bosques de Pomac (Lambayeque).
NATIONAL RESERVES: Natural zones specifically designated to protect and develop the wildlife. This conservation is in the national interest and in these areas the wildlife resources can only be used by the State in permitted situations. The eleven are: Pampas Galeras Bárbara D'Achille (Ayacucho), Junín (Junín and Pasco), Paracas (Ica), Lachay (Lima), Titicaca (Puno), Salinas y Aguada Blanca (Arequipa and Moquegua), Calipuy (La Libertad), Pacaya Samiria (Loreto), Tambopata (Madre de Dios), Allpahuayo - Mishana (Loreto), Tumbes (Tumbes).
WILDLIFE REFUGES: Natural zones which need the presence of authorities to guarantee the management and recuperation of habitat and development of the determined species. It is not permitted to use these natural resources. These are: Laquipampa (Lambayeque), Pantanos de Villa (Lima).
SCENIC RESERVES: Locations which are protected to conserve their origins and permit us to observe the link that lasts in between nature and time. The most important are: Nor Yauyos- Cochas (Lima and Junín), Sub Cuenca del Cotahuasi (Arequipa) .
COMMUNAL RESERVES: Locations where the wildlife is conserved for the use of the surrounding communities. These are: Yanesha (Pasco), El Sira (Huánuco, Pasco, Ucayali), Asháninka (Madre de Dios and Cusco), Machiguenga (Cusco), Amarakaeri (Junín and Cusco), Purús (Ucayali and Madre de Dios).
PROTECTED FORESTS: Locations for which their characteristics and locations essentially serve to conserve water and land resources. These are: Aledaño a la Bocatoma Canal Nuevo Imperial (Lima), Puquio Santa Rosa (La Libertad), Pui Pui (Junín), San Matías San Carlos (Pasco), Pagaibamba (Cajamarca), Alto Mayo (San Martín).
GAME RESERVES: Public and private zones where wildlife is found and can be hunted are: El Angolo (Piura), Sunchubamba (Cajamarca).
RESERVED ZONES: These are reserved zones where studies can be done to define the methods of suitable handling of their conservation. These are generally large areas of land, which have diverse forms of resource use and are zones of specific ecological importance. There are nine in Peru: Chancay Baños (Cajamarca), Cordillera de Colán (Amazonas) , Aymara Lupaca (Puno), Cordillera Huayhuash (Ancash, Huánuco, Lima), Güepi (Loreto), Santiago Comaina (Amazonas and Loreto), Pampa Hermosa (Junín), Pucacuro (Loreto), Sierra del Divisor (Loreto and Ucayali).
FLORA AND FAUNA: The privileged country of Peru houses a diversity of flora and fauna species which have co-existed for thousands of years. With such botanical richness in the country, many species with curative properties have been found, including some with medicinal qualities. There is still information in the Peruvian territory that has been hidden in thousands of species that surprises scientist and amazes us with the unique characteristics that they posses. This is due to the fact that they have adapted to the climates and difficult territories in Peru. Some of these special species are part of the following categories:
Observation of Birds: No doubt exists that Peru is one of the few countries in the world where ornithologists and bird watchers can enjoy themselves with the opportunity to find more than 1,800 species and 312 endemic species, more than one can find in any other part of the world. Areas where birds can be found include: Paracas, Tumbes, the Lake of Junin, Lake Titicaca, Pacaya Samiria and Madre de Dios.
Primates: Peru has 32 primate species, grouped into three families of New World primates: the Callithricidae (tamarins and marmosets), the Callimiconidae: (Goeldi´s monkey) and the Cebidae: (squirrel monkeys, capuchin monkeys, dusky titi monkeys, night-monkeys, howler monkeys, woolly monkeys and spider monkeys, among others).
Marine Mammals: In Peru there are nine of the family classifications, the most important being the otariidae and delphinus, which include the sea lion and dolphin. There are 33 species of marine mammals in Peru. In the nourishing salt waters we have the large whale and the sperm whale.
Wildflowers: The tropical forest located in Tumbes is home to plants that also live in other regions such as the ceder and ficus, the ceibo and guayacan from the jungle, and bromelids and fillandsias. In the dry forest located in Tumbes, Puira and Lambayeque, one can find the Begonia (Begoniapleioetala) the Cardenal (Euphorbia cotinifolia) and the Granadilla Silvestre (Passiflora tenella). The could forests can be found between 2,000m and 3,000m. In Chanchamayo one can find the rarest flowers in the world, such as the bromelia (Aechmia SP) or the giant begonia (Begonia sp.).
Butterflies: One of each of the five types of butterflies in the world is found in Peru. For example, the Manu National park has registered 1,300 species and Tambopata 1,260 species. Studies have shown that there are more than 4,200 species in Peru.
Orchid: In Peru, the majority of orchids grow in the tropical forests on the eastern slope of the Andes. Around 3,000 species have been identified.
Andean Camelids: There are four species of andean camelids which have developed with distinct characteristics. The llama is the strongest and is valued for its ability to carry heavy weights (up to 60 kg). It comes is over 50 coloring combinations. The alpaca is used for its wool and is well known in the textile industry. The vicuña is the smallest and has not been domesticated. It is protected by the Peruvian State because it is under threat of extinction. The last is the guanaco, the wildest, which also lives in the sierra of Argentina and Chile.