Do you love nature and plant life? The rich biodiversity of Peru is truly impressive. Whether you are an animal lover or more of a plant expert, there is wildlife for everyone. This country takes wildlife conservation seriously, with over 53 areas designated to protect plant and animal life. One biosphere reserve has the largest number of species of birds in the world. Peru contains the Amazon rainforest which is part of the reason for this rich biodiversity.
The Andes mountain range is also present in Peru. The diverse habitats of Peru are responsible for the great diversity of wildlife; with forest, grassland and coastal deserts being present. Each of these habitats provides conditions suitable for different types of plants and animals. There are species of plants here that you cannot see in other areas of the world. The plant life and associated animal life is terrific. The cloud forests have lush vegetation including bromeliads, and orchids. Over 2500 species of orchids are found. Dry parts of Peru have many plants adapted to drought, including various species of cactus and ichu grass. A new species of plant was recently discovered in the Andes.
The Andes Mountains are also home to the magnificent plant called the Queen of the Andes, Puya raimondii. Over 25,000 plant species have been identified in Peru, which is an astounding number. These plants all provide food and shelter for animal life. As a result, we find a high animal species diversity in Peru. There are endangered and rare species such as the Puma and Jaguar. Over 400 species of mammals are found in Peru, which is really impressive compared with most parts of the world. This includes not only the big cats we just mentioned, but rats, bears, llamas, alpacas and monkeys. New world monkeys such as howler monkeys and spider monkeys can be found in the forests.
The rich birdlife alone is enough to thrill any birdwatcher, with over 1800 species recorded in Peru, from the tiniest hummingbird to the largest condor. Birders will add many species to their life list by visiting Peru. A new species of flycatcher was even discovered as recently as 2010, and the Andean cock-of-the-rock is a must see for any serious birder. If you find reptiles exciting, you won’t be disappointed. Peru has caimans and huge anacondas. A total of 100 species of reptiles out of the 300 species or so found in Peru are found nowhere else in the world. Amphibians also won’t disappoint, with over 300 species of frogs alone, with new species being discovered all the time.
If you a bug lover then Peru would be a good place to visit as they have a very abundant insect fauna, with several species of butterflies. New species of beetles are also being discovered all the time. Peru is definitely a wildlife lovers’ dream destination. You can explore the wildlife found from the dry coastal areas, up into the Andes Mountains, down into the lush cloud forest and into the Amazon forest.