Foto: Pepe Rojas
Peru is one of the countries with some of the highest levels of biodiversity in the world. Not in vain has it been recognized as part of a group of 17 countries (known as megadiverse countries) where the greatest biodiversity of the world is concentrated. This comes as result of a series of geographical factors as well as the position of Peru within the continent that produce these surprising levels of biodiversity.
One of the highest components of this biodiversity are the birds. To date and according to the most recent version of the South American Classification Committee of the American Ornithologists Union, in Peru, there are 1800 species of birds registered, of which 106 are endemic, which makes it one of the countries with the largest bird species in the world, together with Colombia and Brazil, as well as one of the most desired destinations for bird watchers from all over the world.
Foto: Max Waugh
But with an extension of 1’285.00 of square kilometers covering the coast, the Andes and the lowlands of the Amazon, it is not easy to start planning a trip. Where to start? How do I do it? … It can be a bit overwhelming to think about these details before planning a trip to Peru unless you are taking an organized tour trip. Perhaps some of the things to consider are if this is going to be my first trip to South America, or if I have a list of target birds that I want to focus on or maybe just go out with an open mind and see what species I can find in the region I will be traveling.
The starting point would be the three routes established by PROMPERÚ a few years ago to launch a campaign to promote bird watching in Peru and that is precisely the starting point of this article.
These routes were strategically designed dividing the country in the north, center and south to cover a series of habitats and altitudinal floors from the coast to the Andes and the Amazonian lowlands, each with unique characteristics that result in the wonderful diversity that we find in each one of them that certainly includes different endemic species and others of restricted ranges.
The Northern route includes the northeastern region of the Marañón, which is characterized by being an area of high endemism and that includes Cajamarca, Amazonas and San Martín; the northwest region, which includes the dry forests and tropical forests of the Pacific of Tumbes, Piura, Chiclayo and part of Trujillo and the Amazonian region of Loreto which includes different sites of the Peruvian Amazon including both banks of the Amazon River.
The Central route includes the departments of central Peru including Lima and the coastal region as well as the Andes near the city; Ancash and the area of the Callejón de Huaylas and Cordillera Blanca; Huánuco, Pasco and Junín that include a very interesting altitudinal gradient until reaching the low jungle part of Ucayali.
Finally the South route that includes the departments of Ica, Arequipa, Moquegua, Puno, Cusco and Madre de Dios. Part of it is located within one of the most diverse sites in the world and includes the Manu and Bahuaja-Sonene National Park, both sites recognized worldwide for their biodiversity records.
These three routes will be precisely the starting point of this blog. We will talk about each one, the birds of interest, places to go, places to stay on the route, guides, etc.
Do not miss my next article, meanwhile be happy, stay strong and bird a lot!