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Manu National Park Biosphere Reserve

Manu National Park Biosphere Reserve

The Manu National Park Biosphere Reserve is one of our planet’s most diverse areas with thousands of plants and animals! Manu National Park and the Manu Biosphere Reserve are quite often confused. Manu National Park is only a portion of the biosphere reserve.

The Manu Nature Reserve was established in 1968, and it was designated a National Park in 1973. It took UNESCO four years to recognize it as a Biosphere Reserve. Ten years later, in 1987, it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Manu National Park, Manu Biosphere Reserve

What to see in Manu Biosphere Reserve?

The Manu Biosphere Reserve contains a variety of landscapes and habitats. This ranges from cloud forests to low-land rainforests at 350 meters above sea level to high-altitude Andean grasslands at 4200 meters above sea level. Manu is best visited during Peru’s dry season, which is from April to October because there is less rain and hiking trails are easier to access. Here’s an article on Peruvian Rainforest Weather.

Manu Biosphere Reserve is home to over 3000 plant species. The most popular of which are exotic orchid varieties. It also has over 200 species of mammals, 140 species of amphibians, 90 species of reptiles, and 800 species of birds.

Animals in Manu such as capybaras, deer, howler monkeys, giant river otters, and black caimans can be found along most of the river’s banks in the Manu Biosphere Reserve. Jaguars swimming in these dangerous waters is a rare sight, so if you see one, consider yourself incredibly lucky. Birds such as the Roseate Spoonbill, Hoatzin “punk bird,” Muscovy Duck, Horned-Screamer, and others can also be seen.

The lowland forests of the Manu Biosphere Reserve are home to a variety of monkeys. The most common of which are Black Spider Monkeys, as well as the world’s smallest monkey, the Pygmy Marmoset, and the world’s only nocturnal monkey, the Night Monkey.

Manu National Park Animals The number of species Vertebrates are the most well-known group, comprising 221 species (5% of all mammals). 1,025 birds (10%) 150 species of amphibians. There are 100 species of reptiles currently known. In recent years, new species from all the Groups have been discovered in the South American cloud forests protected areas. There are many more to come. In the parks' rivers and Cochas (Oxbow Lakes), 210 species have been identified. There are 1,307 species of butterflies (5% of the total world), 136 dragonflies, and 650 beetles. Known species have been listed, but there are likely many more in the Amazon Basin. This diversity can be seen in Manu National Park's taxonomic group with over 5,000 species. It is equivalent to 1/6th of all the world's flora. The area around the Cocha Cashu Research Station has an astonishing 1,437 species. The chart below shows the distribution of families living in Manu National Park, a UNESCO world heritage site. Manu National Park Records The Manu National Park List of animals is one of the most diverse in the world. See the records bellow 1025 SPECIES of Bird including cock of the rock. 221 SPECIES OF MAMMALS 1307 SPECIES OF BUTTERFLIES 8 SPECIES OF WILDCATS 15 SPECIES OF PRIMATES 27 SPECIES of MACAWS 132 SPECIES of Reptiles 155 SPECIES OF AMPHIBIANS 300 SPECIES OF ANTS 650 SPECIES OF BEETLES Mammals in Manu National Park Manu Rainforest is home to a remarkable diversity of mammals. There are 221 species that have been recorded so far. Despite their high number, most mammals are difficult to spot in the rainforest. The most spectacular and large taxa that you will see are the primates, ungulates, and carnivores. Larger mammals are more tolerant of visitors after 40 years of hunting protection. Manu is the Amazon Rainforest’s best place to observe mammals. The highlights include: The Giant Otter and Giant Armadillos are the largest and can be found in large groups along the lakes. They are the top predator in Amazonian lakes and they are highly entertaining to observe. The Jaguar, the largest cat in South America, is a delight for anyone who has the opportunity to see it. Manu Reserved Zone is the best rainforest location to see this species, with almost 70% of visitors during the dry season (July through September). You can now see these majestic cats on the banks or beaches of the Manu River. Monkeys in Manu National Park We can also mention that the park is home to 15 species of primates. The tiny Pygmy Marmoset and Spider Monkeys are also included. The Red Howler Monkey, the world's smallest primate and one of the most distinctive sounds of Amazon. His howling can be heard far into the forest. Other Mammals Large herds of white-lipped Peccaries are found in the forest and they can be seen destroying plants and animals. Night walks offer the chance to see smaller mammals such as opossums, night monkeys, spectacled bears, rodents, and other small mammals.

Cloud Forest of the Manu Biosphere Reserve:

The Cloud Forest of the Manu Biosphere Reserve is loved by all. Mostly because you can see the bird species sought by every traveller to Peru, the Andean Cock of the Rock. The Parrot and Macaw Clay Licks are also not to be missed. This is where you will be seeing many macaw species like the Red & Green Macaw, Scarlet Macaw, and many parrots and parakeets.

Not only plant and animal species, but Manu Biosphere Reserve is also home to many native communities like Yine, Harakmbut, Matsigueka, and Quechua with more than 8000 individuals in total. Some of these native people are completely disconnected from the world. They have fishing, hunting etc, as their livelihood whereas some engage in agriculture or tourism.

However, Manu Biosphere Reserve is not accessible to everyone. You have to arrange tours only with a reputable tour company that has permits to enter the reserve. Doing so, you will also get a guide who will be with you no matter the days of the wildlife excursion you have arranged.

You can also stay in the rainforest lodges when you are at Manu. Although, they are not 100% luxurious you can expect them to be equipped with all the essentials including cosy beds, kitchen area, showers etc.

Manu Reserved Zone Tours from Cusco

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