Monica Valeria Pia
Ph.D. Student, Cordoba National University
Location: Rocky Mountains of Central Argentina
Research: Estimating the Density of Mountain Lions in the Rocky Mountains of Central Argentina Using GPS Radio-Telemetry
Species/Topic: Mountain lion (Puma concolor)
Abstract: Creation and maintenance of areas legally protected under the framework of Conservation Units (CU) are not sufficient to prevent biodiversity loss, and do not offer the conditions needed for the establishment of genetically viable populations of species with low densities. In addition, anthropogenic impacts on ecosystems have increased, mainly for the advancement of productive activities at the expense of environmental loss. Large predators like mountain lions are key landscape species and their conservation inside and in the periphery of protected areas is a relevant issue worldwide, due to negative interference by humans. This study will determine the influence of environmental and anthropogenic factors on mountain lion density in the rocky mountains of central Argentina. Methods include radio-tracking with GPS-VHF transmitters. Results will be the first baseline data on mountain lion biology in central Argentina, and will assist in the formation of an action plan involving local communities and government authorities.