Manu National Park

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::: CuscoWeb.com Cusco Info Manu National Park
DICOTYLEDONS:
Cetico (Cecropia spp.), Renaco (Ficus paraensis), Ojé (Ficus insipida); Q'euña (Polylepis incana); Shihuahuaco (Dipterix alata); Ipururo (Alchornes sp.); Cedar (Cedrela odorata), Requia (Guarea macrophylla), Mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla), Uchumullaca (Trichilia septentrionalis); Lupuna (Ceiba pentandra), Sapote (Quararibea cordata); Yumanaza (Muntingia calabura), Cocoa (Theobroma cacao); Capirona (Callycophyllum spruceanum); Pajaro bobo (Tessaria integrifolia); Lagarto caspi (Calophyllum brasiliense); etc.

MONOCOTYLEDONS:

Graminoids such as Dwarf Reed (Chusquea sp.), Cañabrava (Gynerium sagittatum), Ichu (Stipa ichu); palmae such as Huicungo (Astrocaryum murumuru), Pijuayo (Bactris gassipaes), Pona (Iriartea ventricosa), Ungurave (Jessenia bataua), Aguaje (Mauritia vinifera), Shapaja (Scheelea weberbaueri); musaceae such as Platanillo (Heliconia spp.); etc.

Inside the Park's three ecological levels, it is possible to find the biggest fauna diversity that constitutes a very valuable species reserve, many of which remain still relatively unknown. Most of the research is still concentrated in the Cocha Cashu Biological Station in which surroundings more than 550 bird species were registered. It is estimated that the total of species in the Park is more than 1000; the known species all over the world are not more than 9000, and from these, in Peru there are 1800, this constituting a real world record. Thus, the Manu Park shelters one of each nine bird species, an exuberance unmatchable by any other Park in the earth. Moreover, 200 different mammal species were registered; among which stand out the primates with about 13 species. Besides; there are also approximately 100 types of bats. Over here it is possible to easily find endangered animals such as the Black Caiman and the Giant Otter. Fishes are abundant in the Park rivers, as well as insects and other invertebrates from which it is estimated that there may be over one million species. Researches about the fauna of the region are still very scarce and insufficient. Among the Park's fauna species are:

MAMMALS:
Some primates such as the musmuqui or night monkey (Aotus nigriceps), duski titi (Callicebus moloch), red howler monkey (Alouatta seniculus), white-fronted capuchin (Cebus albifrons), common squirrel monkey (Saimiri sciureus), woolly monkey (Lagothrix lagotricha); pygmy marmoset (Cebuela pygmaea), saddleback tamarin (Saguinus fuscicollis), emperor tamarin (Saguinus imperator), black spider monkey (Ateles paniscus). Anteaters such as the silky anteater (Cyclopes dydactilus), southern tamandua (Tamandua tetradactyla), giant anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla). Sloths such as the brown-throated three-toed sloth (Bradypus variegatus), Hoffman's two-toed sloth (Choloepus hoffmanni). Armadillos as the nine-banded long-nosed armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus) and the giant armadillo (Priodontes maximus). Opossums such as the common gray four-eyed opossum (Philander opossum), woolly mouse opossum (Micoureus cinereus), and the white-bellied slender mouse opossum (Marmosops noctivagus). A logomorpha which is the brazilian rabbit (Sylvilagus brasiliensis). Rodents such as the South Amazon red squirrel (Sciurus spadiceus), Amazon dwarf (Microsciurus flaviventer); bicolor-spined porcupine (Coendu bicolor); capybara (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris); paca (Agouti paca), brown agouti (Dasyprocta variegata), green acouchy (Myoprocta pratti); pacarana (Dinomys branickii); mountain vizcacha (Lagidium peruanum); coatimundi (Nasua nasua), kinkajou (Potos flavus). Weasels such as the tayra (Eira barbara), Amazon otter (Lutra incarum), giant otter (Pteronura brasiliensis). Felines such as the ocelot (Felis pardalis), puma or mountain lion (Felis concolor), jaguarundi (Felis yagouaroundi), jaguar (Panthera onca). More over, it is also possible to find the Brazilian tapir (Tapirus terrestris); collared peccary (Tayassu tajacu), white-lipped peccary (Tayassu pecari). Deer such as the red brocket (Mazama americana), gray or brown brocket deer (Mazama gouazoubira), guemals (Hippocamelus antisensis); etc.

BIRDS:
Undulated tinamou (Crypturellus undulatus), ornate tinamou (Nothoprocta ornata), great tinamou (Tinamus major); anhinga (Anhinga anhinga); great egret (Casmerodius alba), capped heron (Phiherodias pileatus), fasciated tiger-heron (Tigrisoma lineatum); wood stork (Mycteria americana), jabiru (Jabiru mycteria); roseate spoonbill (Ajaia ajaia); horned screamer (Anhima cornuta); orinoco goose (Neochen jubata), muscovy duck (Cairina moschata); king vulture (Sarcoramphus papa), black vulture (Coragyps atratus); roadside hawk (Buteo magnirostris), harpy eagle (Harpia harpyja), ornate hawk-eagle (Spizaetus ornatus), crested eagle (Morphnus guianensis); black caracara (Daptrius ater), bat falcon (Falco rufigularis); spix's guan (Penelope jacquacu), razor-billed curassow (Crax mitu); hoatzin (Opisthocomus hoatzin); pale-winged trumpeter (Psophia leucoptera); wattled jacana (Jacana jacana); large-billed tern (Phaetusa simplex), yellow-billed tern (Sterna superciliaris); black skimmer (Rynchops nigra); blue and yellow macaw (Ara ararauna), scarlet macaw (Ara macao), chestnut-fronted macaw (Ara severa), tui parakeet (Brotogeris sanctithomae), blue-headed parrot (Pionus menstruus), yellow-headed parrot (Amazona achrocephala); crested owl (Lophostrix cristata); Amazon kingfisher (Chloroceryle amazona); lineated woodpecker (Dryocopus lineatus); Cuvier's toucan (Ramphastos cuvieri); red-capped cardinal (Paroaria gularis); yellow-rumped cacique (Cacicus cela); Andean cock-of-the-rock (Rupicola Peruviana), etc.

REPTILES:
Yellow-spotted sideneck turtle (Podocnemis unifilis); Amazonian ground tortoise (Geochelone denticulata); white caiman (Caiman crocodylus), black caiman (Melanosuchus niger); anaconda (Boa constrictor); fer-de-lance (Bothrops atrox), bushmaster (Lachesis muta), etc.

FISHES:
Sting ray (Potamotrygon hystrix); electric eel (Electrophorus electricus); Amazonian sucker catfish (Pterygoplichthys multiradiatus); lesser silver catfish (Sorubin spp.), Amazonian catfish (Pseudoprimelodus spp.); lakeside grazer (Prochilodus magdalenae), pirahna (Serrasalmus spp.); etc.
In the Manu and Alto Madre de Dios River basins there are native human settlements that are established possibly since millennia ago; their inhabitants enjoy of free traffic as well as freedom in order to practice activities such as hunting, fishing, gathering and farming. They are part of the Park's natural balance and are allowed whenever their activities do not represent any danger for that balance. Among those groups are the Machiguengas, the Yora or Yaminahuas, the Mashco-Piros and the Amahuacas. Today, the Park authorities got in touch just with Machiguengas and Yoras. The inhabitants of those human settlements have a very peculiar way of life with effective ancestral customs and beliefs; they live in wooden houses with palmtree-leaf roofs; they weave in cotton, make pottery, cultivate goods such as manihot, uncucha, maize, papaya, pineapple, banana, etc. They hunt with arrows, spears, peashooters and stone axes. Today, some of those people live a slow process of westernization due to their approach to modern society and influence of education and communications.

On the other hand, people through the last centuries created the famous "Paititi" myth; that is, a "lost Inkan City" in the Amazonian Forest, that according to many authors would be located in the Park's area. That city would be according to the myth, the place where the last Quechua emperors had sent their treasures in order to protect them from the Spanish destruction; however, there are no evidences of that. But, in the eastern flank of the Andes facing towards the Park there are cultural remains of past civilizations that were not seriously studied; among them are the "Pusharo petroglyphs" in the low Palotoa zone. In Inkan times, according to their territory expansion policies, the Madre de Dios River was discovered and named as "Amarumayo" (Snake-Dragon River). In colonial times, many expeditions went into the region moved by the gold fever; and during the first years of the present century some religious missions were established and all the area was broadly explored and exploited for extraction of rubber latex that is found in important amounts mainly in the lower Manu. Thus, the movement of workers in the region determined the foundation of Puerto Maldonado in 1902 and later the creation of Madre de Dios in 1912 as one department of the country. During the following decades and after the breakdown of the rubber industry in Peru and Brazil, hundreds of hunters went into the zone looking for animal furs highly demanded in the international market, with emphasis in the chase of jaguars, ocelots, giant otters and black caimans. Since the 1960s, the exploitation of valuable timber such as mahogany and cedar was started; that prosperous extractive activity led to the construction of an airfield in Boca Manu.
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