Glimpsing through the shrouds of mist in Cordillera Azul you may spot the splendid Scarlet-banded Barbet, which avoided detection for years and only recently has been discovered. Peru is “the country to explore”, a country in which no fewer than 42 new species of birds have been described to science in the last 30 years. In the white-sand forest of Allpahuayo-Mishana alone, a reserve only minutes from the City of Iquitos, three new species have been identified.
Peru is the land of vast biodiversity – of the 104 life zones known in the world, 84 occur in Peru. A complete mosaic comprises almost every type of habitat imaginable from the deserts and dry forests of the coast to the Puna grassland and snow-capped mountains of the Andes, and the multitude of types of forests within the Amazonian lowlands. Peru is blessed with an abundance of life forms, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, fish, butterflies, trees, cacti, orchids, and the list goes on.To ensure the preservation of this natural wealth, the country has set aside 13% of its national territory as protected areas, forming a network of 58 reserves and natural sanctuaries. A recent up-surge in environmental awareness in the country has led to the formation of grass roots conservation initiatives with encouraging results. Coastal lagoons are being reclaimed, and rivers and streams are being cleaned. The community of Santa Catalina de Chongoyape has declared 34,000 hectares of its land as “Chaparri Ecological Reserve”. In this dry forest you may encounter White-winged Guan, a species long thought to be extinct but thanks to a major conservation effort is making a remarkable comeback