Because it has so many different ecosystems, Peru is home to a wider variety of plants and animals than most other countries on Earth. For many reasons, Peruvians have not had as much of an impact on their natural world as many other countries, and much of these ecosystems have been undisturbed.
A 250-acre (100-hectare) plot of Peruvian rain forest is home to more than 6,000 kinds of plants! There are hundreds of species that are only found in the Amazon. To protect these plants and animals, Peru has created special forest areas called reserves.
On the Pacific Coast, many interesting plant and animal species have adapted to the dry desert climate. And off the coast, the Peru Current nourishes huge numbers of small fish, which in turn support large populations of bigger fish and seabirds, including Humboldt penguins.
Peru's mountains support special types of grasses and plants, which provide food for mammals like llamas, alpacas, and vicuñas. One plant that grows in the Andes, the puya raimondi, grows for a hundred years before blooming.