Peru's Manú National Park World's Most Diverse for Reptiles and Amphibians

February 21, 2014

Manú National Park in Peru now holds the distinction of being the world's most diverse region for reptiles and amphibians, according to a new study published in the journal Biota Neotropica. The park, with 155 amphibian species and 132 reptile species (287 total) edged out Ecuador's Yasuní National Park, which held the previous record with 271 herps. The park also is home to 1,000 bird species and 1,200 butterfly species. 
Potamites Spp.

Photo by Alessandro Catenazzi/Southern Illinois University Carbondale

Potamites Spp. is one of the more than 280 species of reptiles and amphibians that can be found in Peru's Manú National Park.

Researchers with the Department of Zoology, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, the Department of Biology, Illinois Wesleyan University, the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, and the University of California, Berkeley compiled and completed the list of all the herps within the park as well as its buffer zone. The park is one of the world's biodiversity hotspots and covers about 0.01 percent of the Earth's terrestrial surface.
Alessandro Catenazzi

Photo by Alessandro Catenazzi/Wikipedia

Gastrotheca excubitor, a resident of the park, is listed as vulnerable by the IUCN.

The park is also home to several critically endangered and vulnerable species that are on the IUCN Red List, including a critically endangered toad, (Atelopus erythropus), three endangered frogs, (Bryophryne cophites, Pristimantis cosnipatae and Psychrophrynella usurpator), two vulnerable toads (Atelopus tricolor, Rhinella manu), a vulnerable frog (Gastrotheca excubitor) and two reptiles (Chelonoidis denticulata, Podocnemis unifilis).
Yellow spotted river turtle

Photo by OpenInfo/Wikipedia

The yellow-spotted river turtle (Podocnemis unifilis) can be found in Manú National park and is on the IUCN Red List as a vulnerable species.

The full paper with the complete list of herps can be read in the journal biotaneotropica

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