The Wildlife Conservation Society has launched a study in Chile’s Karukinka reserve on Tierra del Fuego to help protect the guanaco – a wild cousin of the llama that once roamed in vast herds from the Andean Plateau to the steppes of Patagonia.
Today, the guanaco population has dwindled to perhaps half a million animals that live in highly fragmented populations due to habitat loss and competition from livestock. Tierra del Fuego, especially Karukinka, holds the largest wild population of Chilean guanacos. The WCS study of these poorly understood members of the camel family will provide critical data to help restore one of the most endangered natural phenomena in Latin America – the overland migration of guanacos – a critical element to understanding biodiversity of the area.
Donated to WCS by Goldman Sachs in 2004, Karukinka consists of 740,000 acres of wilderness, including the world’s southernmost old-growth forest as well as extensive peat bogs, unique river systems, and grasslands. Goldman Sachs has provided key funding for this guanaco study.
“This study is pivotal in understanding the ecological importance of the guanaco and ultimately conserving them as a species,” said Dr. Steven E. Sanderson, President and CEO of the Wildlife Conservation Society. “Historically, guanacos played a similar ecological role in Latin America as did bison in North America, with vast herds wandering over large landscapes. We commend Goldman Sachs for their support to help protect an iconic species that is so important to Tierra del Fuego’s natural heritage.”
A team of WCS researchers have successfully equipped eight guanacos from seven family groups with radio collars to better understand their current movements. The researchers are particularly interested in how guanacos adapt to seasonal changes in the landscape and how they are affected by livestock grazing and other human factors outside of the reserve. The WCS research will provide an understanding of key factors that affect guanaco distribution, abundance, and social composition, as well as show migratory patterns.
Throughout the world, overland migrations of ungulates like guanaco are endangered due to a variety of issues ranging from habitat fragmentation to over-hunting. The Wildlife Conservation Society is working to protect wildlife migrations in several key regions around the world.
In addition to the guanaco study, the Wildlife Conservation Society has already begun other conservation activities in the reserve, including wetlands restoration and limited low-impact ecotourism. For more information on the reserve, go to: http://www.karukinkanatural.cl/Karukinka/index-english.htm
The Wildlife Conservation Society saves wildlife and wild places worldwide. We do so through science, global conservation, education and the management of the world's largest system of urban wildlife parks, led by the flagship Bronx Zoo. Together these activities change attitudes towards nature and help people imagine wildlife and humans living in harmony. WCS is committed to this mission because it is essential to the integrity of life on Earth.
Stephen Sautner | alfa
Scientists on the road to discovering impact of urban road dust
18.01.2018 | University of Alberta
Gran Chaco: Biodiversity at High Risk
17.01.2018 | Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Physicists have developed a technique based on optical microscopy that can be used to create images of atoms on the nanoscale. In particular, the new method allows the imaging of quantum dots in a semiconductor chip. Together with colleagues from the University of Bochum, scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute reported the findings in the journal Nature Photonics.
Microscopes allow us to see structures that are otherwise invisible to the human eye. However, conventional optical microscopes cannot be used to image...
On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.
We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...
What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...
For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.
Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...
At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.
No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...
08.01.2018 | Event News
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
23.01.2018 | Life Sciences
23.01.2018 | Earth Sciences
23.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy