Pictures from Peru
Rhett A. Butler, mongabay.com
November 14, 2005
Machu Picchu, Peru
Mongabay.com, a leading rainforest information web site, has launched a new section featuring photographs from Peru. More than 1900 photos from Machu Picchu, the Sacred Valley, and the Amazon have been added to the site.
“Peru is one of the most biodiverse countries on the planet,” says Rhett A. Butler, founder of mongabay.com, who recently traveled to Peru. “It was also the center of the advanced Inca civilization which, despite its short existence, made lasting contributions in architecture, agriculture, astronomy, and political organization.”
Peru is famous for its diversity and abundance of wildlife, especially in the Amazon region where the bulk of the country’s forests are found. The country is home to nearly 20% of the world’s bird species — including 1000 found in Manú Biosphere Reserve alone — 464 species of mammals, and around 4000 kinds of butterflies.
Peru’s roster of plant life is equally impressive. More than 13,000 plant species are known in the country and scientists have discovered more than 400 species of trees growing on a single hectare (2 1/2 acres). For comparison there are only about 700 tree species in all of North America. The country is renowned for its orchids, especially in the cloud forests of the Andes where you can also find a variety of colorful hummingbirds and the spectacular Andean Cock-of-the-rock, a brilliant orange-red bird related to flycatchers.
Monkey frog, a large treefrog found in the rainforest of Peru
Peru’s flora and fauna is exceeded only by its cultural attractions, most notably, the ancient Inca city of Machu Picchu which was only unearthed in 1911. Machu Picchu, located on a high mountain ridge at an elevation of about 7,710 feet (2,350 m), is one of the most popular tourist destinations in South America. In the past, the city served as a country retreat town for Inca nobility, including the ruler of the Inca Empire. While Machu Picchu is probably the best known of the Inca ruins, there are numerous other archeological sites throughout the country.
Besides pictures from Peru, mongabay.com offers a variety of other images of wildlife and wilderness places from around the world. The site also includes news and information on environmental issues ranging from deforestation to invasive species to climate change.
Pictures from Peru are available at travel.mongabay.com/peru
Mongabay.com aims to raise interest in wildlife and wildlands while promoting awareness of environmental issues.