A Senior Conservation Zoologist for the Wildlife Conservation Society, Charles Munn has spent 22 years in Manu researching macaws and designing programs for conservation-oriented ecotourism. He is responsible for the siting of all current ecotourism projects in the lowlands near the park, and was the chief scientific advisor to "The Living Edens: Manu." His work in Manu is supported by the Disney Institute, and the Liz Claiborne and Art Ortenberg Foundation.
CONSERVATION EFFORTS IN MANU
AND COOPERATION WITH LOCAL PEOPLES
WHY MANU IS UNIQUE
Only nine-tenths the size of New Jersey, Manu protects a greater number of plant and animal species than any other such South American park (with the exception of remote Madidi in Bolivia). The list includes 1,000 species of birds, more than 200 species of mammals (100 of which are bats), and 15,000 species of flowering plants. These high numbers come from Manu's location on the eastern slopes and foothill forests of the tropical Andes, in the extreme western Amazon basin. The advantage of this location is simple; nutrient-rich soils wash down from the highlands, giving rise to a much higher biodiversity than one finds in more easterly portions of the Amazon watershed. No other protected area offers a visitor so much wild nature in such a relatively small region -- a region covering such a wide altitudinal range.
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