RI 15 PERU
Megantoni, seats on the eastern slopes between: Parque Nacional Manu (1.7 million hectares) and the conservation complex in Cordillera Vilcabamba (Reserva Comunal Machiguenga, Parque Nacional Otishi, Reserva Comunal Ashaninka: total 709,347 hectares).
Critical for conservation in southeastern Peru, Megantoni 216.005 hectares might seem small, but the elevation range—500-4,000 meters—the area harbors an astonishing diversity of life. An estimated of 3000-4500 species of plants, being almost a quarter of Peru’s total, and around 20% of the frog and fish species are endemic. The Indigenous groups, Machiguenga, Ashaninka, Nanti, and Yine Yami have a deep connection to the forest, and hold Tasorinshi Maeni, the spectacled bear (Tremarctos ornatus) as the protector.
Megantoni offers the unique opportunity to link two biodiversity giants, protection for the diverse biological and cultural communities, and create a continuity totaling more than 2.6 million hectares. Planned colonization from the south, gas exploration and deforestation in the north threaten the corridor. This one-time chance to preserve intact one of the richest portions of the world depends on the fast action and long-term vision of Megantoni’s local inhabitants, its supporting organizations, and the Peruvian government.
Photo by Heinz Plenge