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One of every five of the world's butterfly species is to be found in Peru, another world biodiversity record that is by itself enough to spur nature lovers to visit Peru's forests.
Butterflies are currently the best-studied group of land-based invertebrates. Much of the research done stems from scientific work done in the remote jungles of Peru. In recent years, theories sustaining that the Amazon jungle's natural diversity increases in relation to its proximity to the Andes have been backed by irrefutable figures.
The area of Pakitza, in the Manu National Park, for example, has registered the extraordinary amount of 1,300 species. And just 235 km away, in a small lodge along the Tambopata River, the figure totaled 1,260 species. What is surprising about these discoveries is that 60% of the species discovered were in common in both areas. Researchers calculate that the total diversity of butterflies in Peru could top 4,200 species, 3,700 of which have been registered.
The coastal desert, which is split by the occasional fertile farmland valley, as well as the Andean heights over 5,000 meters are home to few species, although none the less interesting for all that, as they have managed to adapt to extreme environmental conditions. The tropical rainforests are environments which shelter the greatest variety of butterflies, running from the northeastern forests (Tarapoto and Moyobamba), to the south (Tambopata and Manu), running through the valley of Chanchamayo and the area around Tingo Maria in the department of Huánuco.
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