WILDLIFE SURVIVAL FUND

Investing in endangered species before it’s too late.

PROJECTS IN SOUTH AMERICA

 

Maned Wolf Conservation Program

Project Mission: The maned wolf has been listed at least as Vulnerable in the countries where it ranges. In Brazil, the intense human occupation of the Cerrado ecosystem, leading into habitat alteration and fragmentation, has been considered the main risk for the species conservation. In addition, many people still carry a wrong perception about the species. The negative view of the maned wolf in rural areas leads to an endless conflict that has been drastically reducing population numbers. This project aims to improve the relationship between humans and the maned wolf by involving the whole society in its protection.

The maned wolf is the largest neotropical canid. Although under a near threat status according to IUCN, the species has been listed at least as vulnerable in the countries where it ranges. In Brazil, the intense human occupation of the Cerrado ecosystem, leading into habitat alteration and fragmentation, has been considered the main risk for the species. In addition, many people still carry a wrong perception about the species. The negative view of the maned wolf is exaggerated especially in rural areas and this leads into an endless conflict that has been drastically reducing population numbers. This project aims to improve the relationship between humans and the maned wolf by involving the whole society in its protection. By applying conservation practices and spreading information about them through the use of research, education and communication strategies their survival may be helped.

 

Flamingo Research & Conservation in Southern South America

Project Mission: To achieve sustainable and integrated conservation of wetlands of importance for flamingo conservation through the establishment of a regional network of priority sites.

Three species of flamingo can be found in southern South America: the Chilean flamingo, Andean flamingo and Puna flamingo. The rarer Andean and Puna flamingos primarily use the wetlands of the altiplano in the high Andes of Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, and Peru, but they also use lowland wetlands that are critical for their survival, especially during winter months. These lowland wetlands can at times support up to 60% of the Andean flamingo global population. Conservation of these key lowland sites is of high priority. The Grupo Conservación Flamencos Altoandinos(GCFA), a regional conservation initiative, conducts research, management, conservation, capacity development, and outreach activities at key sites throughout the flamingo distribution range. 

In the last eight years the project conducted winter monitoring surveys of more than 30 lowland wetlands in Argentina (with support from the WPZ). Wide annual variations in wetland conditions have been recorded, as well as in numbers of flamingos using these wetlands. Continued monitoring is necessary to track conservation status of the wetlands, and to determine factors driving flamingo use of these wetlands. Ongoing presence at these sites has facilitated outreach activities with local stakeholders (communities, land owners, and politicians). Ongoing presence at these sites has facilitated outreach activities with local stakeholders (communities, land owners, and politicians). Monitoring these wetlands and flamingos will continue, in order to track their conservation status, and to determine factors driving flamingo use of these sites.

 

Center For Humboldt Penguin Conservation in Punta San Juan, Peru

Project Mission: To conserve the Humboldt penguin and other resident species in Punta San Juan, Peru through the establishment of a dedicated core team of institutions and professionals to monitor and steward this unique reserve. This will be accomplished in part via wildlife management and recovery, conservation science, and education. 

Punta San Juan is home to over 50% of the breeding population of Humboldt penguins in Peru, as well as some of the largest breeding populations of other endemics. The center’s role is one of overseeing the transition of Punta San Juan from a supervised guano reserve to a marine reserve. To that end, much activity has been focused on supporting the short-term protection of the reserve, development of sustainable guano harvesting methods and the collection of biological data including an annual Peruvian census and health assessment. The center also supports education initiatives directed toward local populations that address the plight of the Humboldt penguin and increase awareness of marine conservation issues.