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Rare species of rodent discovered near Machu Picchu

A bamboo rat (Dactylomis peruanus), a rare and little-known species of rodent, was first seen in ten years in the historic sanctuary of Machu Picchu, the protected natural area where the ruins of the famous Inca citadel are located.

The National Service of Natural Protected Areas by the State (Sernanp) of Peru announced today in a statement that the Machu Picchu Park guards were able to photograph for the first time this rodent a few meters from one of the Inca roads that lead to the ruins.

The last time this species was registered was in 2008, during the process of updating the Master Plan of the Machu Picchu Sanctuary.

Bamboo rats inhabit subtropical or humid tropical areas and have previously been recorded at medium elevations on the eastern Andean slopes of southern Peru and northern Bolivia.

It is included in the list of species with “deficient” data due to the absence of recent information on its status, threats and ecological niche, due to the fact that there are few reports of sightings.

One of the few places where it has been documented is the humid forest of Chusquea, in Machu Picchu, at 2,600 meters above sea level, where remains of a specimen were found in a pre-Columbian Inca burial.

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