This practice led to intensive deforestation and destruction of important habitats for wild animals in an area previously rich in biodiversity - there were, among others, monkeys, jaguars, and many butterflies.

An excerpt from the article 43 facts about Peru

In 2018 alone, almost 10.000 hectares of the Peruvian Amazon were destroyed as a result of illegal gold mining. Another problem is the contamination of the environment with mercury because miners mix sediments with boiled mercury to separate gold from other minerals. As a result, up to 55 tons of mercury are released into rivers or the atmosphere every year.