The Manu National Park is a national park in the Amazon region in southeastern Peru in the region of Madre de Dios and small parts in the Cusco region. It is located east of Cusco on the eastern slopes of the Andes. The park was founded in 1973 and is the third national park in the country and one of the oldest protected areas that rank in the tropical rain forest and it covers an area of 18,812 km ². Its purpose is to preserve the typical flora and fauna as well as the preservation of the life of the original inhabitants, the indigenous Indians in this part of the Amazon forest. Even with the foundation said the UNESCO National Park to the Biosphere Reserve and in 1987 the World Heritage Site.
Access to the National Park is very limited. The core zone, which accounts for 81.5 percent, should not be entered. Exception of small Indian tribes who want no contact with the outside world. Another 13.5 percent allowed only with special permission for limited research and tourism will enter and serve as a buffer zone to the core. The remaining 5 percent are of human settlement, the area most of the Indians is reserved. Through these measures, the original flora and fauna are preserved.
Between the eastern foothills of the Andes and the lowlands of the Amazon is a height difference of 4000 m and brought to the National Park three different ecological zones: rainforest , montane rain forest and high mountains . The diversity of flora and fauna is also the target of research Biological Station Cocha Cashu, the largest database of tropical ecosystems in South America has. The station is operated by the University of La Molina in collaboration with the Zoological Institute in Frankfurt am Main . The researchers estimate that about 10 percent of all plants that are found here, the science is still completely unknown. In the rain forest with giant trees, there are about 60 m high and 3 m in diameter, from which lianas hanging vines and other plants down and prevent light from reaching the floor of the rainforest. In the mountainous rain forest there are trees with twisted trunks, growing stronger and a much higher diversity of species. Here there are lichens , mosses , ferns and a huge variety of orchids . In the high mountain forest replaced by a sparsely populated area with the characteristic of the Andean dwarf sedge on. In the three ecological regions, 550 bird species recorded more than 200 mammals and 100 species of bats that were hitherto unknown. Endangered animals like the black caiman and the giant otter are still found in sufficient numbers.