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Huacarpay Lake and Wetlands in Cusco.jpg



Huacarpay Lake and Wetlands in Cusco

Posted by Carmen Maria Guevara Protzel on Mar 14, 2018 5:56:26 PM


Huacarpay Lake and Wetlands in Cusco.jpg
Huacarpay Lake

Huacarpay is one of the most vital wetlands in the Cusco Valley in southeastern Peru thanks to its picturesque qualities, ecological value, and socio-economic potential.

The Huacarpay Lake and Wetlands in Cusco is situated at an altitude of 3,020 meters. This High-Andean wetland includes four permanent and one temporary lagoon, two swamps and two rivers. It is part of the Pikillaqta Arqueological Park and the National Tourist Reserve.

Located in the upper northern part of the wetland are various Inca and pre-Inca remains, such as terraces that were used by the population that once inhabited the citadel of Pikillaqta and its neighborhoods. Pikillaqta was one of the most powerful regional centers of the Wari culture, which controlled almost all Peruvian territory from 600 and 1200 AD.

Huacarpay lake boasts almost 60 resident avian species and vital resting grounds for migratory birds. Huacarpay provides significant food and refuge to various threatened avian species such as exotic storks and falcons. Others birds worth mentioning are the very attractive Sparkling Violetear, brightly-colored Rush-Tyrants, Yellow-winged Blackbirds, and the elusive Plumbeous Rail. You'll also find several species of flycatchers, ducks, and members of the Fringillidae family here. Some of the seven species of raptors can be seen flying once the warms up.


Sparkling Violetear.jpg

Sparkling Violetear

Among the abundant flora are various species of cacti and the "Algarrobo" tree or Prosopis laevigata.

This area also provides some of the specialties of the country and native plants such as the Rusty-fronted Canaster, the Bearded Mountaineer, and beautiful Qantu flowers.

Reforestation of the Huacarpay Wetlands

The Humedal Lucre - Huacarpay is one of the few high Andean ecosystems that provide significant habitat for both residents and migratory birds, thanks to the quality of the water and the vegetation of surrounding zones. The plant that surrounds the wetland consists mainly of shrub and an evergreen species. The geographical conditions provide unique characteristics for the propagation and conservation of various species of birds, mammals, reptiles, fish, and arthropods.

The reforestation was a three-step process. The first stage of the project was conducting evaluations through field visits and coordinating with the Municipality of Lucre and the beneficiaries, determining the area of intervention, the number of seedlings, and the work schedule.

Javier Vera (Drone view)

The second stage started with the tagging and construction of holes. A total of 80,500 plants of Chachacomo, Aliso, Queuña, Molle, and Willow were placed in the protected forest and riparian corridor located in the hills of Salccáyoc Colesníyoc and Muyu Orcco, areas surrounding the wetland.

Finally, a protective wire fence was installed to help reduce animal interference along with a perimeter of 1,500 meters.

It has the Nationa Legal Designation of Archaeological Park &  National Touristic Reserve and it is Ramsar site 1627 since 23 September 2006.

If you would like to make a visit we can add a day to your Cusco program. Just set a date for your trip and Contact us

Carmen Maria Guevara Protzel

Topics: Cusco, Huacarpay Lake

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