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The Biodiversity of Manu Park

by Jason on July 10, 2012

I have had so many wonderful realizations in my life in being down here. I am also just beginning to comprehend the diversity of species down here. I was reading through a book on the birds of Peru. I knew there were more than a 1,000 species of bird in Manu, but I couldn’t comprehend it until I started looking at each and everyone one of them in the book. So many types of owls, toucans, macaws, eagles, vultures, herons, hawks and more. Many times the species differentiation is only a different colored head or throat. There are so many colors of things. So many butterflies. I went out on a 20 minute walk today, and I photographed at least a dozen species of butterfly. I photographed the most exotic green bug with zig zag lines on its back. I saw a few caimans today. The squirrel monkeys love to spend time in the trees above my tent. And they like to throw twigs at me. They haven’t hit me yet. The jungle is teaching me what life is really about.

I’ve also been learning about the thousands of species of plants from the plant expert. And then there’s the mammals. And not to mention all the sounds that I have not yet identified. The bamboo rat, for example, has a mighty big sound for its size. And don’t get me started on the great potoo. I’ve seen worms, bugs, spiders, ants, insects, frogs, lizards, snakes and more. I am feeling the huge abundance of life all around me.

It’s amazing how much life we have killed and taken out of the rest of the world. Manu is the gold standard for what an ecosystem should look like. There are also giant otters, sloths, tapirs, peccaries, tayras, agoutis, anteaters, deer, short-eared dog, ocelot, jaguar and a heck of a lot more. There are hundreds of species of mammal species, more than twenty rodent species, and the list goes on and on.

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