This 3.3 million-acre park in Peru is larger than Yellowstone and Yosemite put together.
Deforestation in the Amazon rain forest of South America has been something of a hot button issue the past few decades. Now, a large chunk of it is being federally protected.
This week, Peru’s government established Sierra del Divisor National Park, a huge swath of land that falls on the country’s border with Brazil. At 3.3 million acres, it’s a massive area. The park will protect thousands of plants and animals including jaguars, sloths, frogs, birds and other animals.
Also protected will be the lands of indigenous people such as the Ashanink’a and Isconahua.
The protected areas are also very diverse. They include everything from parts of the Amazon River to portions of the Andes Mountains.
People are already drawing comparisons of Sierra del Divisor to Yellowstone because of the area’s uniqueness and significance. A majority of it has never been explored and it is believed there are many unknown species yet discovered.
“To call Sierra del Divisor the Yellowstone of the Amazon is an understatement,” Adrian Forsyth, the Executive Director of the Amazon Fund told Mongabay. “As magnificent and important as Yellowstone is, the newly created Sierra del Divisor is several multiples larger. Its primary forests are massive and maintain not just immense stores of carbon but are also the ark that will help carry huge amounts of biodiversity through the climate change bottleneck.”
Making the area a national park seems to come at just the right time because illegal logging and mining, along with coca production have recently started to hit the area. The park also had huge public support from the people of Peru. Mongabay says 86 percent of the population were in favor of the park.
Rainforest Trust had been working on getting the park made for years and their CEO was quick to praise the efforts of the Peruvian government.
“After two decades of collaborating with CEDIA to protect indigenous territories and establish nature reserves, parks and sanctuaries throughout the Amazon of Peru, we have finally completed the centerpiece with the declaration of Sierra de Divisor National Park,” CEO Paul Salaman said.
This permanent conservation corridor is one of the greatest refuges for biodiversity on Earth.
Images via Mongabay News