Manu National Park - One of Earth's Great Treasures

About ten years ago I stumbled across a show on cable TV (it was on A&E I think and was called something like "Spirits of the Rainforest") about Manu National Park in Peru. I had never heard of the place and I ended up so emotionally engaged it reminded me of times at the movie theater when I got into a movie so much I sit through the credits and the usher ends having to come and boot me out. This show was like that for me.

The most prominent feature of Manu is that it is the "poster child" for biodiversity. It reputedly has 1000 species of birds and 15, 000 species of plants and on and on. It spans the mountains regions of the Andes down to the lowlands of the Amazon basin. This surely is a key factor in it's biodiversity.

Some of the signature birds found in Manu National Park include the spectacular raptor, the Harpy Eagle, the beautiful and colorful Scarlet Macaw, and the unusual and probably primitive species linked by some to Archaeopteryx, the Hoatzin. There is even a species of Tanager that has been spotted by birdwatchers but not yet described by science! It is no doubt a haven for colorful and interesting birds.

I cannot do justice to this incredible place in an article such as this, I can only hope to put it on your birding radar screen if it wasn't before. When the Discovery Channel show aired they said they had originally not wanted to publicize this park, for fear of spoiling it due to excessive human intrusion. Then they decided that people needed to know about it if it was to be saved. So now you know.



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