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Rio Abiseo National Park

The Rio Abiseo National Park is located in the San Martin department of Peru. UNESCO pronounced it as Natural and Cultural Heritage of Humanity (World Heritage Site) in 1990. The park is home to a large number of species of flora and fauna, as well as the location of over 30 pre-Columbian archaeological sites. Since 1986, the park has not been open to tourism due to the fragile nature of both the natural and archaeological environment.

Geography and climate

Located in the San Martin Region of Peru between the Maranon and Huallaga rivers, the park has an area of approximately 2,745.2 square kilometres. The park covers 70% of the Abiseo river basin. Elevations reach as high as 4,200 meters above sea level and as low as 350 m .

There are at least seven climate zones in the park, including montane forest, tropical alpine forest, montane rainforest, high Andean grasslands (puna), and dry forest. Rainfall ranges from 20 to per annum. The montane cloud forest, composing most of the park area, is a high-altitude rainforest with short trees, moss and lichen. This ecosystem occurs above the altitude of about 2,300 meters . High humidity is constant and rain falls throughout the year, particularly at the higher elevations. The soil is acidic.


The Yellow-tailed Woolly Monkey (Oreonax flavicauda), previously thought to be extinct, is known to live in the park and appears to be endemic to the region. It was mostly due to this monkey's critically endangered status that the area gained national park status and was placed on the list of World Heritage Sites in 1983.

Other fauna in the park includes:

Andean guan, Penelope montagnii

Venezuelan Red Howler, Alouatta seniculus

White-fronted Spider Monkey, Ateles belzebuth (endangered)

Jaguar, Panthera onca

King Vulture, Sarcoramphus papa

Three-striped Night Monkey, Aotus trivirgatus

Curassaw, Crax salvini

Peruvian Guemal, Hippocamelus antisensis (endangered)

Mountain paca or Punatuacher, Agouti tazcanowskii (endangered)

Southern Pochard duck, Netta erythrophthalma

Spectacled bear, Tremarctos ornatus (endangered)

Turkey vulture, Cathartes aura

White-fronted Capuchin, Cebus albifrons cuscinus

Yellow head parrot, Amazona ochrocephala

Russet-mantled softtail, Phacellodomus berlepschi (endangered)

Yellow-browed Toucanet (endangered)

There are 980 known species of plants documented in the highlands of the park, 13 of which are endemic, and 5000 species of plants in the area of the Rio Abiseo.


The largest and most well-known archaeological site in the Rio Abiseo park is Gran Pajaten, a Chachapoyas ruin located at the crest of a hill near the border of the San Martin region. Nearby are the ruins of Los Pinchudos (discovered by a villager from Pataz in 1965), a series of cliffside stone tombs. Much of the archaeological work done in Rio Abiseo Park is led by the University of Colorado.

See also

Iperu, tourist information and assistance

Tourism in Peru

Woolly monkey

External links

INRENA/SINANPE Official website

UNESCO: Rio Abiseo National Park

Protected areas programme

Bibliography of current research in RANP

The tombs at Los Pinchudos

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Rio Abiseo National Park

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