Tumbes Mangals National Sanctuary
The Tumbes Mangroves National Sanctuary is a national park located in the Tumbes Region of Peru. It contains many species of flora and fauna. It is increasingly popular for tourism, because the beach resort of Máncora three hours to the south is booming.
During the summer months from December to March, the wetland dries up to become a large canyon surrounded by brush. During this time, seafood farmers collect crabs, black conches, and shrimp to be exported through Paita.
The mangrove stands are home to abundant common and endemic species. Besides mollusks and crustaceans (black conch and shrimp), the sanctuary protects commercially important fish, more than 200 bird species of birds (including many rare or endangered species), and rare and threatened mammals, including the crab-eating raccoon (Procyon cancrivorus) and the neotropical otter (Lutra longicaudis). Mangrove forests comprise over forty varieties of plants, among them the distinguished Red mangrove (Rhizophora mangle).
The principal threats to Mangals de Tumbes National Sanctuary are shrimp farmers who deforest and pollute the area, overharvesting (particularly conchs and crabs) and pollution from surrounding villages. Other threats include: contamination from domestic effluent and agricultural runoff; forest and scrubland destruction to create fish farms; unregulated tourism; and the negative influence of the El Niño phenomenon, which alters ecosystems.