[Taxacom] Original forested area of Peru

John Grehan calabar.john at gmail.com
Sat Oct 21 14:14:57 CDT 2017

Just in case anyone on this list may be involved with conservation issues
regarding forested regions in the Peruvian Andes, I am interested to know
if there is any published map of the 'original' extent of forests in the
Andes of Peru (at least pre-colonial, but earlier also of interest). I
presume that information is out there somewhere and perhaps I might find
that information in due course, but if anyone has any immediate familiarity
I would be most grateful as it would be time saving.

In the present context there are plenty of maps showing the 'Amazonian'
forests extending into the uplands of the eastern Cordillera, but further
west there appear to be no forests even though landscape views (such as
photos in Google Earth) show that such non-forested regions can support
trees (that look like they were planted in more recent times) and so I
would expect that in the more distant past they were either covered with
forested habitats or larger patches.

I am interested as I have records of upland species of ghost moth in the
Eastern Andes of Peru that are restricted to forested habitats up to 3,400
m elevation and therefore wonder how much further west their distribution
range might have extended in the past if suitable forested habitat was
present. One species has been recorded from southern Peru at Rio Sondondo,
2,400m. If one traces the elevation of the river that elevation would take
it considerably further west that current forested regions, but the
uncertainty is whether the insect was collected from a higher elevation
next to the river further downstream.

John Grehan


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