The wetlands of the Pantanos de Villa Reserved Zone is a world-important site because of its role as habitat for migratory bird species. It is one of the few natural environments along the desert coast of Peru that harbors the permanent presence of several species. Located in the city of Lima and surrounded by dwellings and factories, Pantanos de Villa represents an ecosystem that offers important environmental services, besides providing recreational and educational facilities for the local population.
The protected area provides several habitats, each for specific biodiversity. Flora is represented by 67 species of plants and characteristic associations that feed from nutrients in the substratum of the soil, which is rich in salts and organic material accumulated throughout the years. Fauna is represented mainly by some 14 species of fish and some reptiles and rodents whose distribution is influenced by salinity, and river and spring vegetation. Fish are an important link of the Pantanos de Villa feeding chain because they are the most important food source for the birds. Of the 178 species of birds found in the area, 77 are migratory.
The reserve faces several problems, including lack of sustainable water flows, illegal settlements in the surrounding plots, pollution due to vegetation clearing, solid waste, and flooding. The most worrisome problems are the industrial activities and growth of the urban sector. There are also conflicts among the pertinent authorities, impeding them achieving common objectives. A similar setback is the lack of coordination and decision-making among institutions, due primarily to financial and budget shortcomings.