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Proyecto Carnívoros Australes

$1,423 of $15,000 goal

Raised by 16 people in 15 months
Most puma (Puma concolor) research has been conducted in North America and existing studies in South America primarily describe basic feeding ecology. Few studies have assessed other aspects of puma ecology and conservation. Pumas in Chile, which are threatened by habitat fragmentation and human-wildlife conflict throughout the country, remain particularly understudied with the exception of southernmost areas.
 
This project aims to perform long-term wild felid research in Central Chile, generating valuable knowledge about this group in this ecoregion (where they remain almost unknown), providing insights for the conservation and science-based management of these species. The study area is located within the Chilean Winter Rainfall and Valdivian Forests Biodiversity Hotspot, comprises nearly 75,000 km2 with many threatened habitats (e.g.: Mediterranean Andean deciduous Nothofagus obliquaand Austrocedrus chilensis forest). Both areas are of conservation importance and likely represent a refuge for central Andean carnivores. We will apply a highly interdisciplinary approach comprising GPS collars, camera-trapping, and noninvasive genetic sampling (e.g., fecal DNA) to assess population density, habitat use, connectivity, and resource selection for pumas and other felids in central Chile, providing valuable insights for the management: they will provide to the wildlife managers information on possible consequences of possible wildlife management actions.
 
Additionally, we aim to study species interactions between the puma and other carnivores in this ecoregion. Specifically, we are interested in the interactions between pumas and mesocarnivores –i.e.: culpeo fox (Lycalopex culpaeus); small wild felids such as the pampas-cat (Leopardus colocolo), which are highly relevant for the functionality of ecosystems.
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News from the field! Our first week of effective fieldwork was pretty succesful: we visited our camera-sites and recovered nice records of pumas and small wild felids in highly-disturbed coastal ranges of central chile, where the landscape is heavily fragmented and dominated by timber plantations (mostly pine trees), and the devastating effects of the (non-natural and human-caused) 2016-2017 megafires are still evident. Additionally, we met the largest chilean timber company, owner of more than 50% of our study area, and they will grant us access to their lands and provide operational support. Next week, we willl begin setting 35 cameras, that will add to the 12 cameras already set, yielding a 47-stations camera grid (3 km. apart from each other) in the landscape. Thanks for your support! Further support for fuel and operational expenses will be sincerely appreciated.
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Project leader Christian Osorio is in Chile, and will conduct 12-weeks fieldwork with our field crew setting trail cameras.
We are still solving issues with the truck. Project leader and a generous donor spent together $2k+ on tires and other stuff to make our truck safe to the muddy terrain we will have to move on. We look forward to have it done ✅ today, and get to the field tomorrow!
Further support to mitigate these (unexpected) expenses will be appreciated.
Thank you for helping us to make this dream come true!
Follow us on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram: @carnivaustrales.
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We are accountable! Please see the details of our expenses in the attached image. Our project leader will travel to the study area on Jun. 23rd, if you can support us with the change from your morning coffee to fund our operational expenses (fuel is almost US$5/gal down there!) we appreciate it.... otherwise, thank you very much for having supported us! :-)
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Our first field campaign was a success: more than 10 camera traps set in the landscape, near 50 scats collected and satisfactory records of the target wild cats (for the first time in the study area). This summer, we will get there again for more: we must set 40+ more cameras and FoxLight devices to begin our work with farmers affected by livestock predation in conflict management and mitigation, in order to decrease hate and retaliatory killing against pumas (one of their main threats!). Please support us, we are running short on FoxLight devices, camera traps, AA-batteries and funds for gasoline and operational expenses. Thank you!
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$1,423 of $15,000 goal

Raised by 16 people in 15 months
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DK
$200
David Kauffman
18 days ago
JM
$80
James McBrien
1 month ago
DK
$100
David Kauffman
1 month ago
$10
Jen Danby
1 month ago
$20
James McBrien
7 months ago
MJ
$25
Mark Jenkins
7 months ago
EA
$70
Esteban Astete
8 months ago
BK
$25
Brian Khepri
8 months ago
MO
$18
Michelle O'Brien
8 months ago
TF
$500
Thomas Fame
8 months ago
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