The Nazca Lines & Symbols: Environmental Concerns
According to Viktoria Nikitzki of the Maria Reiche Centre (an organization dedicated to studying and protecting the Nazca Lines), pollution and erosion caused by deforestation threaten the continued existence of the Nazca lines. She is quoted as saying "The Lines themselves are superficial, they are only 10 to 30cm deep and could be easily washed away... Nazca has only ever received a small amount of rain. But now there are great changes to the weather all over the world. The Lines cannot resist heavy rain without being damaged." However, Mario Olaechea Aquije, the archaeological resident from Peru's National Institute of Culture in Nazca, Peru, and a team of specialists surveyed the area after the flooding and mudslides occurring in the area in mid-February of 2007. He announces that "the mudslides and heavy rains did not appear to have caused any significant damage to the Nazca Lines," but that the nearby Southern Panamerican Highway did suffer damage, and "the damage done to the roads should serve as a reminder to just how fragile these figures are." However, it is worth noting that undiscovered and undocumented geoglyphs may well have been lost, hence the need for exhaustive mapping of all geoglyph areas.