Modeled distribution maps of species endemic to the east slope of the Andes in Peru and Bolivia


These distribution maps model the expected ranges of 782 species of birds, mammals, amphibians, and plants endemic to the Andes-Amazon regions of Peru and Bolivia. The results identify areas of high conservation value as well as previously undetected centers of endemism.


Working with more than 50 collaborating and partnering institutions, NatureServe network scientists created these distribution models to serve as conservation baseline maps that inform effective planning and conservation action at regional and local scales.

The results identified areas of high conservation value as well as previously undetected centers of endemism. 

Features & Benefits

Conserving species first requires knowing where they live. But despite hundreds of years of field inventories, our understanding of the distribution of most species remains incomplete, especially in remote regions.

Studies prior to this one—funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation—focused attention on the distribution of a single group of species, hoping that it could serve as a proxy for all biodiversity. By producing distribution maps, NatureServe and its partners could accommodate the fact that different groups of species have different distributions and thus require distinctive conservation priorities. Areas of endemism for amphibians, for example, usually occur far from and at lower elevations than areas of endemism for birds or mammals.

NatureServe produced a set of predictive distribution maps for 782 endemic species

  • 435 plants
  • 177 amphibians
  • 115 birds
  • 55 mammals


Four plant groups (Anacardiaceae, Chrysobalanaceae, Inga, and Malpighiaceae) showed endemism in the lowlands. The Acanthaceae showed peaks of endemism at mid elevations, and nine plant groups had endemism peaks at high elevations above 2,000 meters.


Amphibians showed a major diversity peak in central Cochabamba Department, Bolivia. Further analysis revealed the existence of equally important areas in Amazonas and San Martín Departments in northern Peru where large numbers of microendemic species occurred.


Richness of endemic species of mammals was highest in a long band at high elevations in the Andes from Cuzco, Peru, to Cochabamba, Peru. The region of the La Libertad-San Martín departmental border in the Cordillera Central was also important for narrow-ranging endemics.


Bird endemism peaked in six areas ranging from the Carpish Hills region of Huánuco Department, Peru, to the Cordillera de Cocapata-Tiraque in Cochabamba, Bolivia. Despite numerous previous analyses of bird endemism in the Andes, our predictive modeling methods identified two previously unrecognized areas — the western Cordillera de Vilcabamba and the region along the Río Mapacho-Yavero east of Cuzco, both in Peru.

Preferred Citation

Users should cite this data compilation as:

Young, BE, Beck S, Córdova J, Embert D, Franke I, Hernandez P, Herzog S, Pacheco V, Timaná M, Tovar C, and Vargas J. 2007. Digital distribution maps of species endemic to the east slope of the Andes in Peru and Bolivia. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia, USA.

All products that make use of these data (produced in any media, including but not limited to publications, databases, theses, websites, and oral presentations) should acknowledge the data contributors in the following manner:

Data provided by NatureServe in collaboration with the Centro de Datos para la Conservación (CDC) of the Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina, the Museo de Historia Natural de la Universidad Mayor de San Marcos, and many participating natural history museums and herbaria.