Mariana Valqui is a Peruvian-German dual national who in 1995 earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Environmental Sciences from the University of Virginia.
She then immediately co-founded Peru Verde, one of the most important wildlife conservation organizations in Latin America. Mariana led Peru Verde in its purchase of 13,000 acres of critical cloud forest on the road next to Manu National Park and at Sandoval Lake in Tambopata National Reserve. Protection of these lands is paid for by ecotourism lodges built and operated by Peru Verde’s business units. These lodges represent the most extensive system of conservation tourism lodges in Latin America.
Additionally, Mariana was the driving force that led to the creation in 1997 of the Conservation Group for Flamingos of the High Andes (GCFA), which consists of a network of field scientists who monitor the conservation of the three spectacular flamingo species that are confined to Argentina, Peru, Bolivia and Chile.
Decades of simultaneous censuses carried out by GCFA in the South-Central Andes has produced the first global population counts for the globally-threatened Andean and James Flamingos. GCFA also is promoting legislation to create conservation units in key breeding locations of these endangered flamingos.
In 2010, Mariana co-founded SouthWild to help expand the notable successes of Peru Verde in adding value to wildlife and wilderness in South America.