A group of Peruvian and foreign scientists, with the support of the National Service of Natural Areas Protected by the State (Sernanp), discovered a new lizard species at the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu.
Sernanp explained this new species, assigned to the genus Proctoporus, inhabits the Wet Puna ecoregion and a montane forest region at an elevation between 2,760–2,800 m.
The new species is distinguishable from all other species of Proctoporus by a unique combination of morphometric, scaling, and color pattern characteristics. Its proposed standard English name is Machu Picchu Andean Lizard.
The montane forest and Wet Puna ecosystems house a biological diversity characterized by its high degree of uniqueness and rarity. In addition, they are seriously threatened throughout their distribution range.
These ecosystems are developed inside the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu in two different settings: Wiñaywayna and Aobamba.
This discovery took place during the research project conducted by Luis Mamani and Juan Carlos Chaparro of the Museum of Natural History at Universidad Nacional de San Antonio Abad del Cusco and by Noemi Goicochea of the National Museum of Natural Sciences of Spain, under the support of forest rangers in the protected area.