Maned Wolf Conservation Project

To rehabilitate and research maned wolves in Argentina

 

The maned wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus) is classified as a Near Threatened wild canid by IUCN and is listed as Critically Endangered by the Argentinean Society for Mammal Research (SAREM). Major threats are road kills, habitat modification, transmission of diseases from domestic dogs and persecution as a livestock predator. Most people do not know the species but kill the animal because they believe it could be dangerous to or attack cattle.

 

Temaikèn Foundation has been involved in a maned wolf conservation project in Córdoba province, in the north-centre of Argentina, since 2009. The project's vision consists of ensuring the presence of the species in its habitat, and therefore being respected and appreciated as an emblem of our territory by present and future communities. The goals of the project are to rescue and rehabilitate animals and return them to their natural environment and to preserve the wild population in Córdoba through field research and working with the community. To accomplish this, we are employing different strategies: We established a maned wolf rehabilitation centre in Buenos Aires province, close to Temaikèn Biopark. We are doing an assessment of the species' status in the region using camera traps. In order to decrease anthropogenic effects, we have developed an evaluation of social perception and valuation in terms of knowledge and attitudes, an environmental education programme and regional conservation and education workshops. The educational activities have reached more than 2,500 locals.

 

In 2014, the National Wildlife Direction and the Environmental Secretary of Córdoba transferred three maned wolves to the rehabilitation centre. One of them, an adult female, was rehabilitated and 6 months later released in the Ibera protected area, Corrientes. The other two were only a few months old when they arrived at Temaikèn Foundation. Both, a female and a male, had different pathologies. For that reason, the rehabilitation process was longer. In addition, we had to ensure that they were prepared to feed by themselves and survive in the wild. The rehabilitation process took a year while we continued our work with the local community, rangers and doing research in the field to determine the best place for release. Local villagers chose the maned wolves' names, Ansenuza and Chipión, in commemoration of their culture.

 

In October 2015, Ansenuza and Chipión were ready to go back to nature. They are now living in their habitat and thanks to the collaboration of a private donor, Zoo Conservation Outreach Group (ZCOG) and Telonics, both animals were fitted with satellite tracking collars. These animals are very important not only because the significance they have in a small population but also as the community is committed and people have been following each step of the recovery. On the other hand, landowners are being included in the conservation project, which gathers valuable information about people's perceptions and the species' status. These data are crucial to design and implement different conservation strategies.

 

Through this project we contribute to maned wolf conservation by recovering animals and decreasing the effects of human activities that are affecting the survival of this species, through education and community work in the province where this canid was presumed extinct years ago. Reintroductions and what people can observe with the monitoring of these animals are powerful keys to communicate the conservation message. Educational activities stimulate conservation action, integrating children and adults in different strategies of the project. The project planning considers the community's needs and the relationship between landowners and the environment, in order to engage them in management and conservation. Temaikèn Foundation remains committed to protect this Latin American unique species of canid.

 

WAZA Conservation Project 15009 is implemented by Fundación Temaikèn, with support provided by Córdoba Zoo. Other stakeholders involved in the project include the Ministerio de Agua, Ambiente y Servicios Públicos, Policía Ambiental, Dirección Nacional de Fauna Silvestre, ZCOG, Telonics, private donors and Grupo Argentino Aguará Guazú.

 

Visit www.temaiken.org.ar.

 

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  • Maned Wolf Conservation

    Maned Wolf Conservation

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