Developing a Community Base Conservation Management to Protect Wildcats in a High Depredation Conflict Area in Chile

26 Feb 2015 Región de Coquimbo, Chile, Central and Latin America Conflict | Education

Rodrigo Villalobos Aguirre

Other projects

25 Nov 2010

Conservation and Evaluation of Andean Cat (Leopardus jacobita) Population in Lauca National Park, Northern Chile

Develop an adaptive conservation management with local communities and stakeholders in order to decrease cougar depredation on livestock to mitigate poaching and retaliatory killing of wildcats.

Guard dog, Great Pyrenees.

Guard dog, Great Pyrenees.

Nowadays, in the north-central Chile exist a predominantly negative behaviors (poaching and retaliatory killing) upon cougars (Puma concolor) due to livestock depredation. In addition, information collected raised worrisome information that all wildcats species (Leopardus jacobita, Leopardus colocolo, and Leopardus guigna) are killed by poaching and retaliation due to its “felid nature”, lack of species knowledge, and negative behavior toward cougars.

The lack of information about wildcats' conflict in the north-central Chile is a current problem to develop proper conservation strategies and mitigation measures by conservationists, NGOs, and Chilean government. To date, we have assessed by interviews and field activities the presence and level of conflict, its impact in local communities, and its effects in wildcats’ conservation. Our findings, have allowed us to know worrisome effects in small wildcats listed in IUCN, which probably are suffering local extinction events in the study area. This fact raise the urgent need to develop proposals to mitigate the depredation conflict and improve conservation awareness to discourage negative behavior toward these species. Overall, our project seeks contribute by means of mitigating the cougar depredation conflict, raise awareness of almost unknown small wildcats, and thus decrease poaching and retaliatory killing of wildcats in the study area. Specifically our project will perform:

• Develop data of cougar depredation conflict and its secondary effect on small wildcats.

• Provide measures to protect goat livestock to mitigate cougar depredation conflict, and test its effectiveness.

• Develop data of the least known IUCN wildcats in Chile such as the Endangered Andean cat, the Vulnerable Guigna, and Near Threatened Pampas cat.

• Collaborate with Government agencies and local communities to develop carnivore monitoring program and conflict resolution teams.

• Develop conservation awareness of wildcats in children, farmers and each stakeholder involved.

• Develop conservation, education and artistic activities in schools.

• Develop involvement in conservation and field activities for children.

The project seeks to develop a community-based conservation management focusing in resolve cougar depredation conflict in the Andes Mountains by means of direct actions involving the community in order to decrease poaching and retaliatory killing for all wildcats species.

Project Updates

28 Apr 2016

Social media video featuring the project.

Anden cat murals Chile

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