ScienceDaily (Jan. 19, 2010) — A team of scientists has documented that Yasuní National Park, in the core of the Ecuadorian Amazon, shatters world records for a wide array of plant and animal groups, from amphibians to trees to insects.
"This study demonstrates that Yasuní is the most diverse area in South America, and possibly the world," said Dr. Peter English of The University of Texas at Austin. "Amphibians, birds, mammals and vascular plants all reach maximum diversity in Yasuní."
The study is published in the open-access scientific journal PLoS ONE.
"We have so far documented 596 bird species occurring in Yasuni," said English, a bird specialist. "That's incredible diversity to find in just one corner of the Amazon rainforest and rivals any other spot on the planet."
The scientists also confirmed that an average upland hectare (2.47 acres) in Yasuní contains more tree species, 655, than are native to the continental United States and Canada combined. The number of tree species rises to more than 1,100 for an area of 25 hectares.
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