Central Andean Yungas

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Landscape view of the Andes Mountains at 4200 meters above sea-level, Bolivia.
© WWF-Canon / Hartmut JUNGIUS

About the Area

This Global ecoregion is made up of 3 terrestrial ecoregions: Peruvian Yungas; Bolivian Yungas; and Southern Andean Yungas.

As in the northern Andes, these forests support some of the world's richest montane forest ecosystems.

Many species of plants, birds, invertebrates, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians are found only in Yungas, and are often restricted to narrow altitudinal belts, particular watersheds, or ranges.

The high levels of biodiversity and endemism characterizing Bolivian Yungas, a unique ecoregion, are attributable to its transitional position between highly contrasting habitats, as well as extremely heterogenic topography.

Size:
339,000 sq. km (130,000 sq. miles)

Habitat type:
Tropical and Subtropical Moist Broadleaf Forests

Geographic Location:
South America: Argentina, Bolivia, and Peru

Conservation Status:
Critical/Endangered
Local Species
Threatened bird species found in the Andean Yungas are numerous and include yellow-faced parrotlet (Forpus xanthops), blue-capped puffleg (Eriocnemis glaucopoides), marvellous spatulatail (Loddigesia mirabilis), red-and-white antpitta (Grallaria erythroleuca), and the golden-backed mountain tanager (Buthraupis aureodorsalis).

Peruvian Yungas are host to 3,000 species of flora and more than 200 species of vertebrate fauna. There are at least 200 species of orchids (such as the genera Epidendrum and Maxilaria).

Featured Species

The Yellow-faced parrotlet (Forpus xanthops) is sized about 14 to 15 cm and it weighs around 55 to 60 grams. It's general color is green with a slight gray veil on the nape. The belly is yellow green. The mask is bright yellow. The male's rump is a light cobalt-blue. The female rump is turquoise blue. The bill is horn-colored, with a black patch on the upper mandible.

They are found in cactus-dominated savannas, in open landscapes with light forests with falling leaves. They eat early in the morning or late at night on cactus and orchards. The nests are made in natural holes or in old woodpecker's nests where up to 70 birds can gather.

A ban on trapping has allowed the population to recover slightly since the 1980s, although it is still listed as vulnerable by IUCN.

Read more:
Threats
Extensive land clearing, agricultural conversion, and logging - all intensified by road building and colonization - severely threaten the region. Certain game species from the Bolivian Yungas are threatened by over-harvest for protein and/or the wild bird trade.
WWF’s work
WWF began its work in Peru with the conservation of the Vicuna in the National Reserve of Pampa Galeras during the 1960s.

With support from USAID-Peru, WWF is currently working to promote forest sector modernization through a major project entitled CEDEFOR-Peru (Centro de Desarrollo Forestal en Peru), which aims to promote sustainable forest management and voluntary forest certification through technical assistance and capacity building.

WWF Peru Programme Office also has 2 other special projects, the Von Humboldt-Aguaytia Pilot Project and the Alternative Development Project, which aim to conserve Peru's biodiversity by promoting sustainable forest management as an alternative to illicit production of coca and illegal logging.
 / ©: WWF-Canon / Hartmut JUNGIUS
Vicugna (Vicugna vicugna) herd, Peru.
© WWF-Canon / Hartmut JUNGIUS

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