Animals of Manu National Park
this region is known as the hotspot of the Tropical Andes Biodiversity and next to the variety of habitats that go from the Andes at 3800 m of altitude to the forests of the low areas at 200 m, they house the greatest biodiversity in the world and make it a must-visit destination for anyone interested in nature.
This great diversity is reflected in all taxonomic groups. With more than 5,000 species of plants, equivalent to 1/6 of all the flora in the world registering an amazing figure of 1, 437 species in an area around the Cocha Cashu research station.
The Number of species
The best-known group are vertebrates, with 221 species of mammals (5% of the world total), 1,025 birds (10%), 150 species of amphibians, 100 species of reptiles known to date, although new species of all Groups have been described in recent years and certainly many more to be discovered. 210 species of fish have also been documented in the rivers and Cochas (Oxbow Lakes) of the park. Among the invertebrates are: 1, 307 species of butterflies (15% of the world total), 136 of dragonflies, 650 of beetles and more than 300 species of ants, have been described but certainly there are many more.
In total, it is estimated that the Manu National Park can house more than 500,000 species of living organisms, making it the most biodiverse protected area in Peru and probably in the world, without doubt, the most accessible area for visitors.
Mammals of Manu National Park
Manu National Park has a staggering diversity of mammals, with 221 species being recorded to date. Despite the high number of species present most mammals are challenging to see in the rainforest environment but those that you do see tend to be the larger and more spectacular taxa such as primates, ungulates, and carnivores. After 40 years of protection from hunting many larger mammals are now quite tolerant of visitors and Manu offers some of the best mammal watching opportunities in the Amazon basin.
Amongst the highlights are:
The Giant Otter, the world’s largest otter that can be found in family groups on the lakes of the park; the top predator on Amazonian lakes, they are very active and social making them highly entertaining to watch.
The Jaguar is the largest cat of the Americas and a treat for any lucky enough to see it. Manu is now proving the most reliable rainforest location to find this species with nearly 70% of visitors in the dry season (July to September) now getting to see one of these magnificent cats, usually on the beaches or banks of the Manu River.
Primates are another highlight with 15 species of the monkey being recorded in the park including the tiny Pygmy Marmoset, the world’s smallest primate, the impressive Red Howler Monkey who howling carries far through the forest and is one of the defining sounds of the Amazon, and the agile Black Spider Monkey.
White-lipped Peccaries occur in large herds that shape the environment as they pass through the forest devouring plants and animals alike, an encounter with a herd is an amazing experience.
Many smaller mammals are primarily nocturnal and night walks provide the opportunity to find smaller cats, night monkeys, opossums, rodents, porcupines and unusual monkey-like procynids such as the Olingo and Kinkajou.
Manu National Park Records
- 1025 SPECIES OF BIRD (Aves)
- 221 SPECIES OF MAMMALS (mamíferos )
- 1307 SPECIES OF BUTTERFLIES (Mariposas)
- 8 SPECIES OF WILDCATS (Felinos Silvestres)
- 15 SPECIES OF PRIMATES (Monos)
- 27 SPECIES OF MACAWS (Guacamayos)
- 132 SPECIES OF REPTILES (Reptiles)
- 155 SPECIES OF AMPHIBIANS (Anfibios)
- 300 SPECIES OF ANTS (Hormigas)
- 650 SPECIES OF BEETLES (Escarabajos)