Jaime Andres Cabrera
PhD Candidate; University of Kent, UK
Location: Colombian Amazon
Research: Natural lick ecology in southern Colombian Amazon
Species/Topic: Large herbivorous mammals in the Colombian Amazon
Abstract: Natural licks are sites where wildlife consume mineral rich soil. In the Amazon, indigenous people use licks as favored hunting grounds, especially to hunt the large lowland tapir, which is a vulnerable and overexploited species, but also one that is preferred for bushmeat. Bushmeat hunting is one of the major issues facing tropical forest conservation. Therefore, a better understanding of natural licks, the animals that use them, and sustainable management of hunting will be important in helping to conserve Amazonian wildlife and the forests in which they live. This project is taking an interdisciplinary approach that combines research that looks at the ecology of wildlife that use natural licks with an understanding of the indigenous peoples' perceptions that use the licks for bushmeat hunting. The project will continue working with the indigenous communities, along with camera trapping and direct observation of animal activities at the licks. This information will provide a basis for community based management practices in indigenous reserves.