Managing Landscape Context to Preserve Birds’ Biodiversity in Wetlands of the Wet Chaco

Bareiro Guiñazú Adolfo Leandro

This project will contribute to understanding and preventing the effects of agriculturization on biodiversity in wetlands and forests of the Humid Chaco. It will also provide information that allows testing spatial interventions to design a landscape that maximizes the permanence of species in the long term.

Corridors and/or restoration of a certain área could be proposed. Furthermore, it will allow us to expand our knowledge about birds and their environments in the ecoregion to study. We will work with the community by involving owners of ranches, providing recommendations that make agricultural activities compatible with bird conservation, and carrying out outreach and environmental education for the public on bird conservation in the region.

Birds of a wetland surrounded by a humid chaco forest © Bareiro Leandro

Birds of a wetland surrounded by a humid chaco forest © Bareiro Leandro

The Chaco Humedo is comprised of an intricate network of grassland, wetland and forest habitats, which come together to form complex ecosystems with high levels of biodiversity. However, the recent expansion of the agricultural industry is causing forest habitat to be replaced by exotic implanted pastures and the degradation of wetlands due to overgrazing and irrigation systems. As a result these habitats are suffering high level of fragmentation and isolation, which in turn affects the plan and animal communities that depend on them. Understanding the effect that this change in the structure of wetlands and forests of this region at a landscape scale has on avian communities is a useful as an indicator of the effect that these changes may have at an ecosystem level. In order to achieve this we will carry out systematic sampling of birds in wetlands and forests under different levels of transformation within the Argentine Chaco Humedo. We will the analyse these data in conjunction with data describing the landscape structure of sampling sites as obtained using satellite images and GIS systems (Geographic Information Systems).

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