COLLABORATION WITH THE PANTHERA FOUNDATION
In 2021 a collaboration between Cerro Guido Conservation Foundation and the NGO Panthera, an international organization dedicated to the conservation of wild cats worldwide, was born. The main objective of this collaboration is to implement scientific research related to the biology, ecology, and conservation of the puma, seeking to integrate strategies towards the coexistence between livestock activity and the conservation of healthy puma populations at
Estancia Cerro Guido.
In the first stage of this collaboration, we will seek to know and quantify the effectiveness of the use of cattle guard dogs to reduce the incidence of attacks by pumas and other carnivores on sheep. In parallel, the use of light and sound deterrents will be evaluated as a tool to protect livestock. For it, an experiment was designed in which six experimental fields will be used, two of which will be used with herds of sheep, one with and the other without the care of guard dogs. These fields will be selected randomly and will rotate for a period of about 3 to 4 months so that all the fields can go through the situation of being with and without the care of protective dogs. In order to understand the interaction between dogs, pumas and sheep, GPS satellite tracking collars will be installed on these three species, which will allow knowing their movements and interaction in real-time.This experiment will last 2 to 3 years.
Foto: Nicolás Lagos
In the future, it is expected that this information will be useful for the protection of cattle within the ranch, through a model that can be replicated in other cattle ranches in the region and the world. Currently, the project has begun with the installation of the tracking collars on pumas, which began in July 2022. The captures were made following ethical standards of animal handling, by tracking with trackers and trained dogs, a methodology widely used by the Panthera team in the United States in fauna conservation studies.
After the incorporation of the GPS collars, the movements of the pumas will be monitored, and in this way evaluate the effectiveness of a strategy that allows the protection of the puma and its entire food chain, as well as contributing to human well-being, specifically to the activity livestock in the territory.