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Manú Biosphere Reserve

The Manú Biosphere Reserve encompasses Manú National Park and before becoming an area protected by the Peruvian government, Manú National Park was conserved thanks mainly to its inaccessibility. The park remains fairly inaccessible by road to this day. In 1977, UNESCO recognized it as a Reserve of Biosphere and in 1987, it was designated a World Heritage Site. It is the largest National Park in Perú, covering an area of 15,328 km². The Biosphere Reserve includes an additional 2,570 km², and an additional 914 km² are included in a "Cultural Zone" (which also is afforded a level of protection), bringing the total area up to 18,811 km². The Biosphere Reserve is very large area that is now being threatened by development and oil and gas exploration companies.

The park shelters several ecological zones ranging from as low as 150 meters above sea level in parts of the Amazon Basin to the Puna grassland at altitudes of 4,200 meters. Because of this topographical range, it has one of highest levels of biodiversity of any park in the world. Overall, more than 15,000 species of plants are found in Manú, and up to 250 varieties of trees have been found in a single hectare. The reserve is a destination for birdwatchers from all over the world, as it is home to over 1,000 species of birds, more than the number of bird species found in the United States and Canada combined.