Peru Says Some 400 Species at Risk Due to Trafficking, Loss of Habitat

Peru’s government says that some 400 species in the South American nation are in danger of becoming extinct, including the massive and majestic Andean condor.

The Ministry of Agriculture released a report recently saying that the animals are in danger due to unregulated hunting, the loss of habitat and the illegal trafficking of the animals, daily La Republica reported.

In addition to the condor, other species that are in danger are the spectacled bear, the only bear native to South America, the vicuña, the jaguar, the white-winged guan and the Andean cock-of-the-rock.

The director of the Agriculture Ministry’s department for wildlife and forestry, Fabiola Muñoz, said her office is working with the Environment Ministry to change the public’s perception on poaching and illegal trade of wildlife.

“Wildlife plays an important role in the protection of ecosystems as the spreader of seeds, for example,” said Muñoz. “However, the confinement of [wildlife] in a house negatively impacts a family and society, as they can produce diseases, affect tourism, and strengthen the international network of illicit trafficking.”

The campaign is aimed at raising awareness of the impacts of wildlife trafficking among young people between the ages of 12 and 25 approximately, principally in Metropolitan Lima and in the provinces in the Amazon regions of Loreto and Ucayali and the central jungle.

Peru’s diverse geography is home to a wide range of wildlife, with record numbers of butterfly, bird and insect species. UNICEF considers the country’s Manu National Park, located in the south-eastern Amazon rainforest, as the world’s most biodiverse spot on Earth.

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