Landscape species studies

The Wildlife Conservation Society conservation approach focuses on ecologically diverse wilderness places and the wide ranging wildlife species that influence the structure and functions of these natural ecosystems, and are particularly sensitive to threats caused by human activity, making them particularly useful for planning conservation actions. In the Greater Madidi-Tambopata Lanscape, in coordination with the Bolivian and Peruvian protected area authorities, seven landscape species were selected: the vicuña (Vicugna vicugna), the Andean condor (Vultur gryphus), the Andean or spectacled bear (Tremarctos ornatus), the military macaw (Ara militaris), the jaguar (Panthera onca), the giant otter (Pteronura brasiliensis) and the maned wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus).

In order to make estimates about their spatial needs, information published internationally and/or available locally was systematized to generate baseline information on areas where these landscape species have been registered in the landscape, their habitat preferences, breeding sites, home ranges or areas of action, and specific threats that affect them.

Subsequently, in landscape level planning workshops conducted in coordination with the protected area authorities of Bolivia and Peru, models for analyzing habitat availability for the seven landscape species were developed, representing spatially the biological landscapes of these species and identifying critical areas for their conservation. The information on the distribution of landscape species systematized by WCS, constitutes the basis for the species monitoring programs of the protected areas in Bolivia (Apolobamba, Madidi and Pilon Lajas) and Peru (Bahuaja Sonene and Tambopata) which will allow measurement of the effectiveness of conservation actions and also evaluate population changes of the species.