The flora and fauna of the Peruvian coast is exotic and diverse. This wealth is the product of the different surfaces that characterize this area. The coastal region – or chala as it is also known – has islands, mangroves, beaches, some marshes and inland areas up to approximately 500 meters above sea level.
With respect to the interior, its areas are dominated by a desert, often rocky and mountainous that goes from Chile to Ecuador. This desert is crossed by many small rivers that descend through steep and arid mountains, flowing into the Pacific.
Temperatures along the coast rise near the equator in the north, and drop to colder levels in the south.
The climatic conditions have a great impact on the flora and fauna of the Peruvian coast. Along the coast, these conditions gradually change from semi-desert or arid on the border with Ecuador to one of the driest desert climates in the world in the center and south.
However, some variations occur in these areas, either in drier or wetter conditions. This is due to the intense fog formation caused by the Humboldt current.
Flora of the coast of Peru
The coastal area is known for the formation of a very special seasonal vegetation called hills . These formations owe their development to the clouds that move inward from the Pacific Ocean and deposit their water in the form of a fine mist over the land.
In turn, these clouds develop over the cold Antarctic current that sweeps the coast from south to north, and the little humidity that remains within them condenses when they pass through the first foothills of the Andes.
Thus, some representative species of the hills are: amancaes, chives, snow flower, ferns, white grass, lily of the Incas, wild chamomile, daisy of hills, moradilla, tuberose, quinoa, trumpet and others.
In total, 557 desert plant species are counted in the hills of the desert coast of Peru.
On the other hand, other species in the entire coastal area include: salty grass (along the coast), reed grass (in the floodplains and riverbanks), carob tree (on the north coast), faique (in the Pisco deserts and Ica) and mangroves (at the end of the north coast).
In addition, throughout the desert region there are genera of the cactus family, such as prickly pear cactus, Peruvian old man cactus, various species of Haageocereus and Islaya cacti.
The flora of the region also consists of palm trees, coconuts, olive trees, papayas, and mangroves.
Here are three examples of the coastal flora of Peru:
From the carob tree some pods similar to beans are born. In addition, carob is extracted from it, a syrup with an energizing effect ideal for athletes, children or adults.
Also known as May Flower, it is a beautiful tree shaped like a chandelier. From its trunk multiple branches are born that open so that yellow flowers appear from it. It has ornamental and medicinal use.
Small hardwood tree, green leaves and yellow flowers. It is natural from Peru and has medicinal properties for the treatment of conditions such as diabetes or dysentery.
Fauna of the coast of Peru
The rich marine vegetation of the Peruvian coast attracts a large number of marine fauna. Among the most important are the sea lion, the anchovy, the tuna, the whale, the swordfish and the marlin.
In the same way, in the island reserves there are marine birds such as Peruvian potoyuncos, Humboldt penguins, seagulls, parakeets, terns, pelicans, frigates and gannets.
For its part, the coastal desert is home to coastal foxes, guanacos, vampires, mice, lizards, and snakes.
Here are three examples of the coastal fauna of Peru:
A meter long bird that lives on the coasts of the South American Pacific. Its plumage is dark, only broken by a white stripe that runs from the beak to the neck. For its part, the beak is yellow, being a perfect tool for hunting anchovies, its main food sustenance.
Peruvian hairless dog
The also known as viringo is a very common companion animal from the coast of Peru, as well as from the rest of the nation. In fact, it is the Heritage of Peru, which gives it the privilege of having to live in ideal conditions for its natural development and upbringing.
The main source of fishing in Peru, being also the main prey for many of the species of the ecosystem of the Peruvian coast. In turn, the Peruvian anchovy feeds on plants, plankton and small larvae of other fish.