A field checklist of the birds of Manu National Park, Cusco and Madre de Dios departments, Peru
by John C. Arvin
For the Use of Manu Nature Tours, Cusco, Peru
Manu National Park is composed of 1,532,000 hectares (about 3,785,572 acres) of pristine wilderness in southeastern Peru. It extends from cold puna grasslands at 4000 m. (13,123 ft.) along the crest of the Andes to the rainforests of the broad Amazonian plain at 300 m. (990 ft.). Almost 1000 species of birds have reliably been reported from the varied habitats included in the park, the highest diversity for any area of comparable size on Earth.
I have divided the park into approximate zones based on elevation. Each zone has roughly the same climate, vegetation, and birdlife. Of course, living creatures cannot be so precisely defined, so the zones in which species have been recorded should be considered approximations only, not hard and fast rules. These zones are defined as follows:
T - lowland tropical; 300 - 850 m.
UT- upper tropical (or foothill); 850 - 1400 m.
ST- subtropical; 1400 - 2500 m.
TP- temperate; 2500 - 3100 m. (to the limit of trees)
P -treeless grasslands with shrubs above about 3100 m.
Other abbreviations used are:
* - very rare; usually only a single record; documentation highly desirable
a - arid; these are regions located in valleys and behind ridges that block moisture rising from the lowlands
mn - a species that migrates from North America to spend the northern winter in the area
ms - a species that migrates from temperate South America northward to spend the austral winter in Amazonia.