Maned Wolf Conservation
To promote the survival of maned wolves and other carnivores in Argentina by involving local people
87% of all South-American carnivore species occur in Argentina, and 48% are present in the Northeast. Like in many other places on Earth, wild carnivores are not liked by the rural population as they may predate on domestic livestock. Farmers will capture and/or kill them whenever they have the opportunity.
Particular problems in Argentina include:
- poor knowledge about conflicts between man and carnivores;
- absence of conservation strategies to manage problematic predators and to protect threatened carnivores species;
- poor law enforcement;
- absence of studies on the perception of carnivores, or on their biology, ecology and behaviour in the wild.
Three of the carnivore species occuring in the region are now globally rated "Near threatened" and may be in higher threat categories in Argentina, one species is categorised "Data deficient" but one can safely say that knowledge of all species has to be ranked between scarce to null, and is absolutely inadequate for drawing up a management plan.
To address the various problems, the Argentinan NGO Huellas initiated a project towards the end of 2001, which is ongoing since then.
The project has the following aims:
- To identify the conflicts together with the rural people and to help mitigating such conflicts.
- To build up conservation strategies for the carnivore guild.
- To promote a formal educational programme.
- To study the ecology and behaviour of wild carnivores to obtain outstanding data, in particular to establish distribution (presence/absence) of the species in the region, their association with different quality of habitat and the conflicts with the rural residents, and to study the spatial ecology (home range size, activity pattern in relation with the habitat features, habitat use and selection) and the thropic ecology.
- To generate an Action Plan for the conservation of the maned wolf as a key species to protect grasslands and wetlands in North-East Argentina.
The focal species of the project is the maned wolf, Chrysocyon brachyurus, which is an endemic canid and the largest representative of the dog family in South America. In addition to the maned wolf, the following nine sympatric carnivore species are included: crab-eating raccoon (Procyon cancrivorus), striped skunk (Conepatus chinga), little grison (Galictis cuja), river otter (Lontra longicaudis), pampas fox (Pseudalopex gymnocercus), crab-eating fox (Cerdocyon thous), Geoffroy’s cat (Oncifelis geoffroyi), yaguarundi (Herpailurus yaguarundi), and puma (Puma concolor).
WAZA Conservation Project 06031 is implemented by HUELLAS, Association for the Study and Conservation of Biodiversity, and supported by Zoo d'Amnéville, Zoo de Doué, CERZA Lisieux, Safari de Peaugres, Societé Zoologique de Paris (all France), John Ball Zoological Garden (USA) as well as by the NGOs Oikoveva (France), Eco Sys - Eco Fun NGO (China), Idea Wild (USA) and Rufford Small Grants (UK). Through a combined project with the Institute of Applied Ecology of Rome - IEA - and Institute of Astronomy and Space Physics - IAFE- (Argentina) to study the distribution of the maned wolf, economic support was obtained from Brookfield Zoo, Miami Metrozoo, Roger William Park Zoo (all USA) and the Rufford Small Grants (UK). With the authorization of the Natural Resource Direction of Corrientes Province and the General Council of Education of Corrientes Province.
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