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 Global threat to primates concerns us all
19.01.2017 | Deutsches Primatenzentrum GmbH - Leibniz-Institut für Primatenforschung

nachricht Reducing household waste with less energy
18.01.2017 | FIZ Karlsruhe – Leibniz-Institut für Informationsinfrastruktur GmbH

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: Scientists spin artificial silk from whey protein

X-ray study throws light on key process for production

A Swedish-German team of researchers has cleared up a key process for the artificial production of silk. With the help of the intense X-rays from DESY's...

Im Focus: Quantum optical sensor for the first time tested in space – with a laser system from Berlin

For the first time ever, a cloud of ultra-cold atoms has been successfully created in space on board of a sounding rocket. The MAIUS mission demonstrates that quantum optical sensors can be operated even in harsh environments like space – a prerequi-site for finding answers to the most challenging questions of fundamental physics and an important innovation driver for everyday applications.

According to Albert Einstein's Equivalence Principle, all bodies are accelerated at the same rate by the Earth's gravity, regardless of their properties. This...

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Breaking the optical bandwidth record of stable pulsed lasers

24.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Choreographing the microRNA-target dance

24.01.2017 | Life Sciences

Spanish scientists create a 3-D bioprinter to print human skin

24.01.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>