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
• 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: STEPHEN SAUTNER: (1-718-220-3682; firstname.lastname@example.org
JOHN DELANEY: (1-718-220-3275; email@example.com)
Executive Director of Communications
Stephen Sautner | newswise
Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon
09.12.2016 | Wildlife Conservation Society
Successful calculation of human and natural influence on cloud formation
04.11.2016 | Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main
Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.
Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
09.12.2016 | Life Sciences
09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation
09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine