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Peru specialist Dr. Inge Schjellerup stumbled upon the isolated Huambo Valley on the eastern slope of the Andes during field research in 1997. She was surprised to see widespread deforestation and human settlement in a zone that was supposed to be uninhabited according to the official map of Peru. This book explores the effects of land use on the environment of the Valley over the past 500 years following a Schjellerup-led interdisciplinary study of the area. Schjellup's team discovered extreme biological diversity in the area, but the forests are under such accelerated destruction that some unknown species are possibly in danger of disappearing even before they have been discovered.