The Annotated Ramsar List: Peru


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The Annotated Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance


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The Convention on Wetlands came into force for Peru on 30 March 1992. Peru presently has 13 sites designated as Wetlands of International Importance, with a surface area of 6,784,042 hectares.

Estrategia Nacional de Conservación de los Humedales, 1996

site; date of designation; region, province, state; surface area; coordinates
site; date de désignation; région, province, état; superficie; coordonnées
sitios; fecha de designación; región, provincia, estado; área; coordenadas

Bofedales y Laguna de Salinas. 28/10/03. Arequipa. 17,657 ha. 16º22´S 71º08W. National Reserve. A salt high Andean lake in the Puna at 4,300m altitude, Laguna de Salinas lies at the bottom of an endorrheic basin with geothermal activities amidst snow-capped mountains and volcanoes. Open peat bogs known as bofedales surround the lake, providing an important grazing area for native camelids such as vicuñas and llamas as well as habitat for the endemic pupfish Orestias agassizii. Chilean (Phoenicopterus chilensis), James's (Phoenicoparrus jamesi), and the endangered Andean flamingoes (Phoenicoparrus andinus) inhabit the lake, reaching over 20,000 during the rainy season. Calidris spp sandpipers also winter in large numbers. Salt and borate mining is an important economic activity in the lake itself but also the main concern for the site due to the necessary soil removal of its operations. The impacts of overgrazing, the traditional activities of picking duck's eggs, and trout culture are being addressed through a Management Plan of the Salinas and Aguada Blanca National Reserve, to which the Ramsar site belongs. Ramsar Site No. 1317. Most recent RIS information: 2003.

Complejo de humedales del Abanico del río Pastaza. 05/06/02; Loreto; 3,827,329 ha; 04°00'S 075°25'W. An enormous alluvial fan composed of volcanic sediments brought down from the Andes of Ecuador and deposited along the river Pastaza and associated streams and secondary rivers leading to the river Marañon. The site contains an extraordinary diversity of both permanent and seasonal wetland types, with abundant lakes and remnant islands. Some 9 species of fauna from CITES Appendix I are supported, as well as 70 from Appendix II, and 17 species found in IUCN's Red List are present. Parts of the site near the river Urituyacu are particularly important for the palms Phytelephas tenuicaulis and Aphandra natalia, and the Pastaza supports a large population of the palm Elaeis oleifera, seen only a few places elsewhere in Peru. Nearly 300 species of fish have been recorded. Human occupation, largely restricted to the banks of the principal rivers, is a low-density mix of indigenous and settler communities who cultivate banana, cassava, and maize. Studies of the area by WWF Perú and the Centro de Datos para la Conservación of the Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina facilitated the preparation of the site's designation. Ramsar site no. 1174. Most recent RIS information: 2002.

Humedal Lucre - Huacarpay. 23/09/06; Cusco; 1979 ha; 13°37'S 071°44'W. Situated at an altitude of 3,020 meters, this High-Andean wetland comprises four permanent and one temporary lagoons, two swamps and two rivers, and is part of the Pikillaqta Arqueological Park and the National Tourist Reserve. This wetland provides considerable food and refuge to various threatened (Falco femoralis, Falco peregrinus, Jabiru mycteria) and endemic (Oreonympha nobilis, Asthenes ottonis, Poospiza caesar) avian species, making it possible to identify over 70 such species throughout the year. Among the most representative flora are various species of cacti and the "Algarrobo" tree (Prosopis laevigata), which at 3,100 meters AMSL probably has the highest altitude of its distribution in South America. The overexploitation of resources constitutes an important threat to the site, which is in turn facilitated by uncertainty about the ownership of the land. Ramsar Site No. 1627. Most recent RIS information: 2006.

Lago Titicaca (Peruvian sector). 20/01/97; Puno; 460,000 ha; 15º50’S 069º30W. Lake Titicaca, in the Central Andes, is the world’s highest navigable freshwater lake, at 3810 m above sea level, shared between Peru and Bolivia. The wetland is a permanent freshwater lake, with associated marshes and extensive areas of emergent aquatic vegetation. There are a number of endemic fish species present and the site is extremely important for migratory shorebirds and Andean waterbirds, including three species of flamingo. Algae and submergent and floating vegetation is abundant, and the dominant emergent species is the "totora" Schoenoplectus tatora, which can reach up to seven meters. When the "totora" drifts away from the shore, it forms islands which are used by some members of the Uro community to live on. Most of them are fishermen and hunters, but they also make crafts to sell. Whilst subsistence fishing is the main use of the lake by the local communities, the surrounding areas are used for agriculture. Ramsar site no. 881. Most recent RIS information: 1996.

Laguna del Indio - Dique de los Españoles. 28/10/03. Arequipa. 502 ha. 15º46´S 71º03'W. National Reserve. A natural high Andean seasonal pool at over 4440m in the Puna which became permanent with the building of a reservoir serving the water needs of the city of Arequipa and which is used for hydroelectric power generation downstream. Sharp water level fluctuations in the reservoir allow for peat bog plants such as Distichia muchoides to prosper on its shores. The Andean Goose Chloephaga melanoptera, which nests in peat bogs and grasses, and the Andean Duck Oxyura ferruginea have significant populations in the lake, while Wilson's Phalarope Phalaropus tricolor and the Crested Duck Anas specularioides are also relatively numerous. The endangered vicuña is frequent in the surroundings, where local people also raise llamas and alpacas. Other human activities are trout fishing in the reservoir and egg picking from geese and ducks. The remnants of a colonial dyke used for irrigation are found in the site. The area is part of the National Reserve of Salinas and Aguada Blanca, for which a management plan was established in 2001. Ramsar Site No. 1318. Most recent RIS information: 2003.

Lagunas Las Arreviatadas. 15/07/07; Cajamarca; 1,250 ha; 05°14'S 79°17'W. Santuario Nacional. A paramo wetland complex, located in the austral region of the Northern Andes Ecoregional Complex and Northwest Peru. It contains 4 main high Andean lagoons of glacial origin and a series of small lagoons and minor ponds, surrounded by peaks of more than 4,000 m of altitude. It is habitat for many vulnerable or endangered species, such as the Andean tapir (Tapirus pinchaque), the little red brocket deer (Mazama rufina) and the spectacled bear (Tremarctos ornatus), an emblematic species of the Andes, as well as the golden-plumed parakeet (Leptosittaca branickii) and the red-faced parrot (Hapalopsittaca pyrrhops). Two endemic botanical species Calceolaria rhododendroides and Halenia bella have been found in the site, as well as 23 species of endemic birds for the country, 4 for the region, and a new bird species for the country: Anas andinum. The site assists in regulation of the local climate and promotes other hydrological processes, including aquifer recharge, capture and storage of pluvial water and permanent water supply for the water courses that go down to the floor of the valleys of the region. To date, there are no threats affecting this area. It is considered under category III (Natural Monument) of IUCN. Ramsar site no. 1691. Most recent RIS information: 2007.

Manglares de San Pedro de Vice. 12/06/08; Sechura; 3,399 ha; 05°31’S 080°53’W. This wetland in northern Peru is the last mangrove relict of the southern Pacific coast of South America and is composed of two mangrove species Avicennia germinans and Laguncularia racemosa, as well as 43 species of Phanerogamous plants. The site is part of the coastal wetland corridor for migratory birds, registering 98 species of resident and migratory waterfowl. The mangrove is habitat to many fish species, reptiles, invertebrates and micro fauna, and some mammal species such as Pseudalopex sechurae, Didelphys marsupialis and Conepatus semistriatus can also be spotted in the site. It is also of great social and economic importance for the inhabitants of the area, undertaking activities such as subsistence fishing and extraction of crustaceans and mollusks. The wetland is currently threatened due to inadequate management and lack of planning. Every year thousands of tourists visit the site, leaving trash behind, which accumulates and creates not only a visual impact but affects the wildlife living in it. There is a strong relation between the dry forest, the mangroves and the coastal desert, which are important for mammals and birds. Ramsar site no. 1811. Most recent RIS information: 2008.

Pacaya Samiria. 30/03/92; Loreto; 2,080,000 ha; 05º15’S 074º40’W. National Reserve. Vast complex of alluvial terraces and floodplains covered by tropical rainforest. The site embraces the two large river basins and includes numerous permanent freshwater lakes, lagoons, and seasonally flooded, forested wetlands. The site supports a diverse population of mammals, invertebrates, reptiles, and birds. Archaeologically important, the various human activities at the site include tourism, forestry, fishing and petroleum prospecting, (illegal) hunting, fishing, and taking of river turtles’ eggs. Upwards of 70,000 indigenous people live within the reserve, and there are three biological stations. Ramsar site no. 546. Most recent RIS information: 1992.

Paracas. 30/03/92; Ica; 335,000 ha; 13º55’S 076º15’W. Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve; National Reserve. Extensive coastal region of bays, promontories, shallow marine waters, rocky shores, sandy beaches, and islands set in an arid landscape. The marine waters are highly productive due to the Peruana (Humboldt) current and offshore upwelling, supporting 300 species of fish and various species of seaweed. More than 20 species of Nearctic-breeding shorebirds stage and winter here. Other notable fauna include two species of marine turtles. The area is archaeologically important. Human activities include traditional fishing and shellfish harvesting. Ramsar site no. 545. Most recent RIS information: 1992.

Reserva Nacional de Junín. 20/01/97; Junín y Pasco; 53,000 ha; 11º00’S 076º08’W. This site is a shallow permanent freshwater Puna high-altitude lake (4,080-4,125 meters above sea level), the second most important in Perú, in size as well as biologically and socioeconomically. It is important for both resident and migratory bird species; the Junín Grebe (Podiceps taczanoskii) is endemic and on the verge of extinction (50-75 individuals). The fish fauna is abundant and includes several introduced species. The local inhabitants are mainly sheep farmers and fisherfolk. Peat is extracted traditionally for fuel because of the lack of firewood in the area. Ramsar site no. 882. Most recent RIS information: 1996.

Santuario Nacional Lagunas de Mejía. 30/03/92; Arequipa; 691 ha; 17º08’S 071º51’W. National Sanctuary. A series of small, shallow, saline lagoons, associated saline marshes, reedbeds, riverine forest and sandy shores in the arid coastal region of southern Peru. The lagoons are important wintering area for Nearctic-breeding shorebirds. There is a visitors’ centre and ornithological research is conducted. Human activities include pumping of water for irrigation, (illegal) hunting, and reed harvesting. Ramsar site no. 547. Most recent RIS information: 2001.

Santuario Nacional Los Manglares de Tumbes. 20/01/97; Tumbes; 2,972 ha; 03º25’S 080º17’W. The greater part of the wetlands comprise creeks (1,800ha) and streams while the remainder is mangroves (1,172ha). The inclusion of Manglares de Tumbes in the Ramsar List is a very important step forward in the conservation of mangroves, not only because it is at the southernmost limit of this type of wetland on the Pacific coast of South America, but also because of the ever-increasing rate of mangrove destruction for shrimp and fish farming. The area is important for the population of the vulnerable American crocodile and otter, both endangered in Peru. Waterfowl are also important in this area, as there are a number of species which do not occur elsewhere in the country. The wetland serves as a source of food for the local communities roundabout. Ramsar site no. 883. Most recent RIS information: 1996.

Zona Reservada Los Pantanos de Villa. 20/01/97; Lima; 263 ha; 12º12’S 076º59’W. Located within the municipal limits of the city of Lima. This site is a coastal lagoon with brackish water and abundant emergent vegetation. The wetland is situated in the desert and the main source of water is of underground origin. It is a habitat for waterfowl typical of coastal Peru and 17 species of migratory shorebirds. In 1993 an amphibian Colostethus littoralis was rediscovered, having been considered extinct in the area. The site is of special relevance for recreation, environmental education, and public awareness given its proximity to Lima, and it is state-owned. Ramsar site no. 884. Most recent RIS information: 1996.

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