DryFlor Latin American Seasonally Dry Tropical Forest Floristic Network
DryFlor A Rede Florística de Floresta Tropical Estacional Seco
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Conservation in Peru

All seasonally dry forest regions in Peru are highly threatened by land cover changes, although increasing efforts are being made to protect and conserve them. Seasonally dry forests in Peru have been impacted by humans over millennia. For example, the very arid Prosopis-dominated forests of the river valleys of the Atacama Desert were home to some of the earliest pre-Columbian civilizations in the Americas. It also seems likely that seasonally dry forests of some inter-Andean valleys such as the Apurimac were modified before the Spanish invasion given their fertile soils and proximity to important population centers such as Cusco. This modification of the seasonally dry forest biome in Peru has continued into modern times, with exploitation for timber, firewood and agriculture. The agricultural use is often for small scale, seasonal farming, but in some areas, such as the Huallaga Valley and the Piura and Ica coastal plains, recent agricultural expansion has been on industrial scales.
The seasonally dry forests of the Pacific Coast of NW Peru in the departments of Tumbes and Piura have some protection, including the Northwestern Biosphere Reserve (with the Cerros de Amotape National Park as its nucleous, complemented by a set of regional and private reserves of varying management levels). However, despite harboring some of the continentally most unique assemblages of endemic plant and animal species, the seasonally dry forests of inter-Andean valleys have virtually no protection. The seasonally dry forests of the Urubamba basin, for instance, have been modified and deforested in more than 70%, mainly by agriculture. In 2018, the Peruvian government decreed the first conservation area in the Marañon section of the Amazonas region to conserve a “globally unique biogeographic area”. Private efforts are complementing, although at smaller spatial scales, the protection of the Marañon valley. There are no similar initiatives elsewhere in the inter-Andean valleys.