2012/09/30

Machu Picchu, biodiversity and eco-tourism

Gallito de las rocas, ave de Machu Picchu - Frank WoutersCock of the rocks, Machu Picchu - Frank WoutersEl ave landscape, natural beauty, great flora and wildlife, have done Machu Picchu worthy of a new award: "Best destination ecological of South America".

Machu Picchu has just received a new award, this time on the part of The World Travel Awards, which was considered for the second consecutive year to the archeological Citadel of the Peru as: "Best destination ecological of South America".

This institution recognises and celebrates excellence in all sectors of the tourism industry and travel around the world, and according to the newspaper The Wall Street Journal, these nominations in the tourist world are the equivalent to the Oscar of the Academy of Arts and cinematographic Sciences awards.

Machu Picchu is an ecology extremely diverse and complex, despite mean extension of only 0.025% of the total number of Peruvian territory, retreat of about 10% of the biodiversity of the country. Their areas of life, their genebanks, ecosystems and its impressive diversity of wild flora and fauna, are among the largest in South America and the world.

The Sanctuary has up to nine life zones, which are distributed among wet, very humedos-montanos subalpine and lower subtropical forests, moorland, tundra to subtropical levels, all of them at different heights that start from 1,800 meters on the level of the Sea (m) and reach more of the 4,600 m.

These huge variations in heights from dry forests montano low, on the banks of the Valley, up to the level at the summits of the cordillera, as well as a unique topography and jungle eyebrows, give rise to a great diversity of wild flora and fauna. This ecosystem makes a very important and special ecological place of Machu Picchu.

In Machu Picchu, the varied environmental conditions have generated a flora particularly diverse covering a huge range that goes from closed forest to sparse mountain summits. For this reason, this inca Citadel has been described as a paradise for botanists.

The lush cloud forests that cover the steep slopes and mountains refuge countless taxonomic species, including delicate orchids linked to ancient legends and Inca myths, more than 30 genera and about 200 species, as well as bromeliads and tree ferns to a great diversity of trees - between 50 and 90 species per hectare-such as cedar, Rosemary, or coniferlaurel and other species such as Ocotea, Podocarpus, Guarea, Weinmania, among others.

The diverse vegetation formations present in the Sanctuary are fundamental components of unique ecosystems. It includes species typical of the Andean forests, as the Polylepis in the higher parts, up to epiphytes, shrubs, mosses, bushes plants and palms typical of mountain forests at lower altitudes.

In 1981, Machu Picchu was established legally as a protected Area in the historic sanctuary category. This nomination has generated a large wildlife recovery in many areas of the zone. During the expeditions of Hiram Bingham in 1911, the naturalist Harry Ward found the existence of about 200 species, but subsequent studies have found almost 900, including about 30, 50 mammals, 400 birds, 400 insect between reptiles and amphibians, as well as a dozen fish.

They include mammals such as the spectacled bear, the dwarf deer, sachacabra, zebus and concolor, Andean Fox, Wildcat, pumas as well as rare species such as Procyon cancrivorus, Felis jocobita, Mazama chunyi, among others.

Also, many beautiful birds like the Andean cock of the rocks - tunqui in quechua, the associated with Machu Picchu and the Peru national bird; the pava del Monte; the duck of the torrents, the only bird in the world with great skill of swimming and diving; the gloomy bird; the giant Hummingbird, the largest in the world; the Green tail; and the masked trogon, offers a wonderful view by its bright red and green tail, among others.

Birds also ancient as the famous Andean condor that appears above the ruins of Machu Picchu as well as the highest points of the Inca Trail; You can fly hundreds of miles and hours flying majestically between the valleys or slopes looking for animals to feed.

It is special ecological feature of Machu Picchu its landscape and natural beauty with its cloud forests and its blue sky, its mountains and valleys surrounding it, where you can clearly distinguish more than five ecological floors with its microclimates, and these in turn, in particular harmony with an impressive diversity of wild flora and fauna.

This historical, ecological and natural, Sanctuary, one of the most visited in the world, has been recognized as heritage of humanity and declared as one of the new seven wonders of the world, now it is again awarded by The World Travel Awards as "best destiny ecological in South America", brilliant incentive to attract even more tourists and researchers from around the world.

Article copyright: Alfredo Palacios Dongo. Please contact the author of this article to obtain your permission and authorization express to be able to use or publish their content in whole or part.

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