Peru’s famed Pur Pur sand dune threatened by crops and sand thieves

The Pur Pur sand dune and Natural Reserve, located near the north coastal city of Virú and once considered to be one of Peru’s largest sand dunes, has been significantly shrunk by encroaching crops and residents who steal sand to later commercialize it, reported daily El Comercio.

Pur Pur started to shrink back in 1997, after then President Alberto Fujimori privatized the land surrounding the sand dune. Since then, large agro export farms have been set up, and hundreds of bushes and trees planted – which keep sand out and slow down normally strong winds.

The dune has become much smaller, said Tomás Gutiérrez, a former employee of Camposol Co., located nearest Pur Pur.

Pur Pur is a megabarchan dune, or arc-shaped sand ridge that has two “horns” that face downwind.

Wind is crucial to Pur Pur’s migration, which occurs much like the movement of waves of light, sound or water. As barchans migrate, smaller dunes outpace larger dunes, bumping into the rear of the larger dune and eventually appear to punch through the large dune to appear on the other side.

In addition to the encroaching vegetation, the Pur Pur Natural Reserve is also threatened by “sand thieves.”

According to Cristian Sotero, a specialist employed by Peru’s Natural Resources Institute, Inrena, some Virú residents are known to remove massive quantities of sand from the dune, to later sell it to construction companies.

Sharing is caring!

Comments are closed.