|Town/Region||Lanin National Park, Neuquen Province, Patagonia|
|Continent||Central and Latin America|
|Date||28 Mar 2008|
Araucaria araucana forests, a unique and relict forest with restricted distribution, presents a wide variety of conservation problems caused mainly by human actions, which affects cavity-nesting birds, a group that is especially likely to be sensitive to forest changes. Cavity availability is a major factor to study in order to evaluate conservation risks of cavity nesters.
On the other hand, one of the most emblematic secondary cavity nester is the endemic Austral Parakeet, Enicognathus ferrugineus, the southernmost distributed psittacid of the world. This parakeet may be used as key species to evaluate Araucaria forest as a suitable ambient for cavity nesters by understanding the habitat requirements of them. Its distribution linked to this threatened habitat shows its vulnerability. Its biology, ecology and population status are largely unknown, highlighting the importance of understand ecological and reproductive requirements on Araucaria forest.
Austral Parakeet presents trade problems involved local communities. That way, we create an Environment Education Program based on ambient interpretation as conservation strategy. This is a key aspect to guarantee sustainable use of the forest by tourists and local people, mostly from Mapuche indigenous communities.
The Project goals are to intensify conservation of this valuable habitat by increasing its knowledge and use this information for management, education and conservation for sustainable purposes.
Lanin National Park contains the last Araucaria forest remnant of Argentina. The Project Education Program was created for native people as well as for tourist visitors, as a basic conservation strategy. By informing and involving local people in conservation activities, we wish to create an ecological conscience to preserve the ambient where they live. This will be linked with available information about Araucaria forests and its fauna to Lanin National Park visitors in order to increase conservation values of this ancient and unique forest.
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