Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

WCS Radio Collars Iconic South American Mammal

15.01.2015

Guanaco populations rebounding in Tierra del Fuego now come in conflict with sheep ranchers and loggers

Where the Guanaco Roam: New Study Documents Wanderings of South America’s Iconic Hoofed Mammal


WCS

WCS’s Andrés Novaro examines a young guanaco before releasing it.

• Guanaco populations rebounding in Tierra del Fuego now come in conflict with sheep ranchers and loggers

• WCS scientific team radio collared guanacos and followed them in and around Karukinka Natural Park in Chile

• Guanacos are wild cousins to llamas

• Study: online edition of journal Oryx

Guanacos are back – and getting into trouble – says a team of scientists from WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society) tracking these iconic hoofed mammals across a variety of landscapes on the Chilean side of the island of Tierra del Fuego.

The team says that guanacos – wild cousins to domestic llamas – are coming into increased conflict with sheep ranchers and loggers. The results of their study indicate that better understanding guanacos’ seasonal movements, coupled with a limited science-based, sustainable a harvest of animals, may be the key to conserving this quintessential species of Tierra del Fuego.

The study appears in the online issue of the journal Oryx. Authors include: Claudio Moraga, Martín Funes, Cristóbal Pizarro, Cristóbal Briceno and Andrés Novaro of WCS.

Guanacos once numbered in the many millions in South America. In Tierra del Fuego, by the mid 1970s as a result of hunting, competition from sheep, and habitat degradation, the guanaco population had collapsed to approximately 7,000 individuals on the Chilean side of the island. Since then, guanaco numbers have recovered to more than 60,000 as a result of hunting restrictions and reduced sheep numbers.

The WCS team conducted seasonal counts of guanacos and fitted 10 animals with radio collars in and around Karukinka Natural Park, a vast wilderness owned and managed by WCS as a protected area. Before the animals were released, blood samples were taken so that the scientists could conduct complementary health and genetic tests.

The team found that while some guanacos were more sedentary, others conducted seasonal migrations spending time in grasslands in the summer and forests in the winter sometimes even crossing into Argentina. Once they ventured outside of the park, they often came into conflict with sheep ranchers and loggers.

High sheep densities and poor range conditions on the ranches reduced key forage resources available to guanacos forcing them into forests where they fed on seedlings affecting forest regeneration and increasing conflict with logging interests.

Guanaco density was highest in low-elevation areas with more grassland cover and little snow accumulation in winter. In these areas, guanaco density decreased with increasing livestock density.

Said lead author Claudio Moraga of WCS: “Our results provide insight into the interactions among guanacos, forests and livestock ranching, and may be used to reduce conflicts and guide conservation of Tierra del Fuego’s unique ecosystems. Ultimately, conservation of these ecosystems depends on reconciling the interests of livestock husbandry, guanaco conservation, and the timber industry.”

Chilean authorities hope that the sale of guanaco meat from recently allowed legal harvests will be viewed as a contribution to the economy of the Magallanes region. The authors say that harvesting guanacos may be a useful tool to promote guanaco conservation in parts of Tierra del Fuego, but it should be part of an integrated management strategy, and it must allow maintenance of key ecological processes such as seasonal migration between forests and grasslands.

Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)
MISSION: WCS saves wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature. VISION: WCS envisions a world where wildlife thrives in healthy lands and seas, valued by societies that embrace and benefit from the diversity and integrity of life on earth. To achieve our mission, WCS, based at the Bronx Zoo, harnesses the power of its Global Conservation Program in more than 60 nations and in all the world’s oceans and its five wildlife parks in New York City, visited by 4 million people annually. WCS combines its expertise in the field, zoos, and aquarium to achieve its conservation mission. Visit: www.wcs.org ; http://www.facebook.com/TheWCS ; http://www.youtube.com/user/WCSMedia  Follow: @thewcs.

Contact Information
CONTACT: STEPHEN SAUTNER: (1-718-220-3682; ssautner@wcs.org
JOHN DELANEY: (1-718-220-3275; jdelaney@wcs.org)

Stephen Sautner
Executive Director of Communications
ssautner@wcs.org
Phone: 718-220-3682

Stephen Sautner | newswise

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Upcycling 'fast fashion' to reduce waste and pollution
03.04.2017 | American Chemical Society

nachricht Litter is present throughout the world’s oceans: 1,220 species affected
27.03.2017 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA's Fermi catches gamma-ray flashes from tropical storms

25.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers invent process to make sustainable rubber, plastics

25.04.2017 | Materials Sciences

Transfecting cells gently – the LZH presents a GNOME prototype at the Labvolution 2017

25.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>