Peru’s protected areas
In its effort to guard its natural resources the government has created a national system to protect natural areas in order to contribute to the sustainable development of the country. Currently it has 61 protected areas that cover 18 million hectares or 14 percent of the national territory. These include national parks, national reserves, national sanctuaries, historical sanctuaries, protected rain forests, hunting areas, community reserves and reserved areas.
National parks: Bahuaja Sonene, Cerros de Amotape, Cutervo, Huascaran, Manu, Tingo Maria and Yanachaga Chemillen.
They were created to preserve the ecosystem, biodiversity and the natural landscape characterized by its beauty. Natural resources cannot be exploited; they are restricted from development and enjoy statutory legal protection. National parks can be accessed by the public in general.
Huascaran National Park in the department of Ancash
Natural Reserves: Calipuy, Junin, Lachay, Lake Titicaca, Pacaya Samiria, Pampa Galeras Barbara D’Achille, Paracas and Salinas y Aguda Blanca.
They cover an area of 3,221,376 hectares. Natural reserves are protected zones of special interest in the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and natural resources. The exploitation of natural resources is allowed under permit and managed by national and regional agencies.
National Sanctuaries: Ampay, Calipuy, Huayllay, Lagunas de Mejia, Manglares de Tabacones Namballe and Tumbes.
Areas intended to protect the habitat of a species of wildlife or the biodiversity of the area. The direct use of natural resources is prohibited by law. Only scientific investigations and controlled tourism are permitted. There are six national sanctuaries with a total area of 48,113,10 hectares.
Historical sanctuaries: Chacamarca, Pampa de Ayacucho and Machu Picchu.
They were created to protect the national historical heritage of the country. They include archeological constructions or sites where historical events took place. Controlled tourism and scientific investigation with permit are allowed. It covers an area of 41,279,380 hectares.
Machu Picchu is one of the Seven Wonders of the world.
Protected Forests: Alto Mayo, Bocatoma Canal Nuevo,Pagaibamba, Pui Pui, Piquio Santa Rosa and San Matias San Carlos
They were established to prevent woodlands from eroding by protecting river basins and banks as well as to protect its threatened vegetation. It is permitted to use its resources as long as they do not endanger the natural landscape. Protected forests cover a surface of 38,998,699 hectares.
Hunting Reserves: El Angolo and Sunchubamba.
Enclosed hunting land for the practice of sports hunting. Currently there are two hunting reserves covering a surface of 124,735 hectares.
Municipal or Community Reserves: Amarakaeri • Asháninka • Machiguenga • Purús • Tuntanain •Yanesha and El Sira.
They were established to protect the ecological balance of an area for the benefit of a local community. The protection of its biodiversity such as wildlife, vegetation, bodies of water, landscape and other natural resources considered vulnerable is the main goal. The utilization of resources is administered by local authorities under a management plan.
Reserved Areas: Algarrobal el Moro, Apurimac, Aymara Lupaca, Allpahuayo Mishana, Alto Cañete y Cochas, Apurimac, Batan Grande, Chancay Baños, Gueppi, Laquipampa, Pantanos de Villa, Pachacayo, Rio Rimac, Santiago Comaina, Tumbes, Tambopata Candamo.
These areas are considered ecologically vulnerable. They are temporarily protected but need to be assessed in order to be categorized to determine the extension of protection required. Currently there are sixteen reserved areas.
More about Peru’s biodiversity
Among the most endangered animals in the Andes are the condor, yellow tailed wolley monkey and the Andean mountain cat.
Overfishing and dam-building threaten the Amazon River and its ecosystem. Deforestation to clear land for mining, road building and agriculture destroys the habitat of plants and animals that live in the rain forest; it also contributes to the erosion of the soil creating mudslides.
The Amazon river is home to many species of animals and many of them are in danger of extinction.
According to the Conservation Foundation, Peru is a country of surprising diversity in human and biological terms, and because of its vast genetic wealth, if Peru can be saved, it could serve as the basis for “rehabilitating” the rest of the world.
Tags: Amazon basin, Amazon River, amazonia, Andean mountain range, Andes, biodiversity, conservation, ecology, economy, ecosystem, environment, Huascaran, Manu National Park, national parks, national reserves, natural resources, Peru, pollution, rainforest, reserved areas, selva