WCS studies on wildlife in Apolobamba registered a new species for Bolivia, the mountain paca (Cuniculus taczanowskii) and confirmed the presence of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus peruvianus), 25 years after the first record. It also estimated the population size or abundance of some threatened species with great ecological importance like the Andean condor and the Andean bear.
WCS helped conduct censuses and subsequent analysis of the distribution of the vicuña in the upper part of the Apolobamba area. In addition, health studies of vicuña and domestic animals in the communities of Antaquilla, Caalaya, Cañuhuma, Curva, Lagunillas, Medallani, Nube Pampa and Puyo Puyo showed that 94% of the assessed vicuñas was in good health, but 31% of alpaca and 59% of sheep showed signs of parasitic diseases.
WCS’s actions in Apolobamba focused on investigating conflicts between human activities and wildlife, and testing measures to mitigate damage caused by wild animals to agriculture and livestockin communities. WCS has helped to recover a number of non-lethal traditionalpractices to reduce the predation of domestic animals by foxes and mountain lions: use of colored animal vests and bells, performing “chakus” or community wildlife drives, and improving corrals. Application of these actions resulted in the reduction of animal loss per family 4.1 animals in 2005 to 1.4 in 2008.
Similarly, monitoring, prevention and prompt attention to livestock diseases carried out by 220 families resulted in the reduction of animal losses by disease from 10.4 heads per household in 2004 to 2.4 heads in 2007.
At present, WCS is working with SERNAP and the direction of ANMIN Apolobamba in implementing the Integral Monitoring Program and the Environmental Adaptation Plan of Apolobamba. Activities started in 2010 with the program design and training of park rangers in environmental monitoring issues. The integrated monitoring program considers the strategic management areas defined by SERNAP for the National Protected Area System, within the Strategic Management Agenda, and the suite of factors involved in the management of protected areas:
- Preservation of natural and cultural heritage: natural diversity of Apolobamba (climate, water bodies, glaciers, wildlife, Andean bogs) and cultural diversity (traditional tuber crops, knowledge of medicinal plants, rituals and archeological sites).
Sustainable economic and social development: tourism, fisheries and management of camelids.
Social participation in protected area management: meetings and activities of the Management Committee, community environmental standards and environmental education.
Linking management with the political, administrative, institutional, organizational and territorial context: agreements with institutions and land planning processes.
Strengthening the management capacities of relevant actors
Sustainable management of financing: funds managed and financial performance