Thursday, December 30, 2010

Species keep coming out of Peru

In the Peruvian Amazon, the rate of "major" animal discoveries is impressive: one new bird a year and one new mammal every four years. There are plenty of invertebrates as well: one find I mentioned in an earlier post was the toothy "Tyrannosaurus leech" (Tyrannobdella reina). As this article points out, the nation is taking meaningful conservation measures, with 15 percent of its lands under some level of protection. It's also a land undergoing rapid development, though, with 16 percent of the territory included in mining concessions. Conservationists are fighting to make sure the most critical spots are saved, noting that there are no doubt more species there we don;t even know about yet.
COMMENT: As in the United States, it's not reasonable to expect all public lands will be protected: economic welfare and conservation will sometimes be at odds. The balancing act will never be simple, although requiring greener methods of extraction and restoration can help.

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