Treasure trove of species found in Peru

Feb. 2, 2012 at 6:03 PM

PUERTO MOLDONADO, Peru, Feb. 2 (UPI) -- A wealth of new, previously undocumented species have been discovered in a protected national park in southeastern Peru, wildlife conservationists say.

Fifteen researchers participating in the inventory focusing on plant life, insects, birds, mammals, and reptiles in the Bahuaja Sonene National Park have identified 365 species, a release from the U.S.-based Wildlife Conservation Society said Thursday.

"The discovery of even more species in this park underscores the importance of ongoing conservation work in this region," Julie Kunen, WCS Director of Latin America and Caribbean Programs, said. "This park is truly one of the crown jewels of Latin America's impressive network of protected areas."

The discoveries included unknown bird species, new bat species, and more than 200 undocumented species of butterflies and moths, the release said.

The park contains more than 600 bird, more than 180 mammal, more than 50 reptile and amphibian, 180 fish and 1,300 butterfly species, researchers said.

Researches said the study was especially important as the first time research of this scale has been carried out in Bahuaja Sonene National Park since it was created in 1996.

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