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Río Abiseo National Park

A recent inventory of Río Abiseo's fauna found 12 species new to science

The Rio Abiseo National Park is located in the San Martín department of Peru between the Marañón and Huallaga rivers, covering an area of over 1,000 square miles. Elevations range from 1,150 feet to nearly 14,000 feet above sea level. UNESCO pronounced the park as Natural and Cultural Heritage of Humanity (World Heritage Site) in 1990, and research undertaken since 1985 has already uncovered 36 previously unknown archaeological sites at altitudes of between 2,500 and 4,000 m, which give a good picture of pre-Incan society

Rio Abiseo contains seven life zones that protect a great diversity of species of flora and fauna, including montane forest, tropical alpine forest, montane rainforest, high Andean grasslands, and dry forest. An initial floral inventory of the higher elevations of the park has identified more than 1,000 species, including 174 ferns (17 percent of all fern species reported in Peru), 72 orchids and two tree species in danger of extinction.

A recent inventory of Rio Abiseo's fauna registered 300 species of vertebrate mammals, amphibians, reptiles and fish, among which were 18 species considered endangered at the national level and 12 species new to science! The park is home to the endangered and endemic yellow-tailed wooly monkey and five endemic species of frogs.

Since 1986, the park has been closed to tourism due to the fragile nature of both the natural and archaeological environment.


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