Peru – Haven For Still To Be Discovered Species

Peru is the home to one of the biggest forest lands about 700,000 square kilometers (270,270 square miles). It has been known for its Andes mountain range and the Amazon area that covers 60 percent of the country’s territory.

It is a hotbed of bio-activity and is home to 25,000 species of plants, 10 percent of the world’s stock. Peru has the world’s second largest bird population (1,800 species) and is among the top five countries for mammals (515 species) and reptiles (418 pieces).

This year alone, scientists stumbled upon a previously known leech and a new type of mosquito. The animal population has grown in recent years with the addition of a mini poison dart frog with a fire red head and blue legs (Ranitomeya amazonica), a purple throated Sunangel hummingbird (Heliangelus viola) and a ‘tyrannosaurus leech’ with eight teeth (Tyrannobdella reina).

Each year, a new bird is found and every 4 years a new mammal discovered in the Peruvian Amazon, home for biodiversity where conservation and danger often go hand in hand.

More than 1200 new species of plants or animals have been discovered in 10 years time in the Amazon, according to the Worldwide Fund for Nature.

But surprisingly, the novel species are often discovered during the very activities that threaten the Amazon the most due to digging exploration sites for mining, oil and lumber companies.

It is also a magnet for resource extraction. The number of concessions granted has doubled since 2006 to cover 16 percent of the territory, according to the Observatory of Mining conflicts in Latin America.

Peru boasts for 15 percent conservation of its territory which is under protected status and with the government aiming for 30 percent.

Although environmentalists worry about the future of biodiversity and the species living outside these protected areas.

Gerald Herail of France’s Institute of Research and Development (IRD) in the capital Lima has noted that mining or hydrocarbons firm are not innately destructive.

The key is whether or not it is clean or uses cleaner methods and technologies.