Juan Ignacio Zanón Martínez
Ph.D. student, National University of La Pamapa
Research: Spatial Ecology of Puma (Puma concolor) in the Calden Forest, Argentina: Implications for Conservation and Management
Species/Topic: Puma (Puma concolor)
Abstract: The Caldén semiarid forest in central Argentina is one of the most severely human impacted landscapes. The reduction of native forest and the legal and illegal hunting of wildlife (mostly carnivore species), results in the removal of an unknown number of individuals of these species each year. Mainly hunting, either legal or illegal, is affecting puma populations. The goal of the project is to evaluate puma population status in the Caldén semiarid forest, considering aspects of the species' spatial ecology at different spatial scales and under different management or conservation scenarios. This study will use a combination of camera trapping and predictive species distribution mapping through Generalised Additive Models (GAMs), to assess puma population status. The combination of these two methodologies seems to be a valuable tool for wildlife managers and government agencies.