Peru Park Crowned Biodiversity Champ
Nearly 300 reptile and amphibian species
Manú National Park in southeastern Peru has been crowned the planet’s new champion of reptile and amphibian biodiversity. Dethroning Ecuador’s Yasuni National Park, Manú contains at least 132 species of reptiles and 155 species of amphibians.
Manú National Park covers roughly .01 percent of Earth’s land surface but holds more than 2 percent of its amphibians and 1.5 percent of its reptiles. The journal Biota Neotropica published the park’s species count, which includes nine species that are new to science.
Although the 5,800-square-mile park is a star of biodiversity success, many of the species are threatened with extinction. The two leading concerns are deforestation for oil and farms, and a unique and deadly fungus that can kill many frogs and amphibians.