PhD Student, Universidad de Buenos Aires
Research: Designing a conservation landscape for keystone, umbrella, and endangered endemic species in a part of the Semiarid Argentinean Chaco
Abstract: The study area, inhabited by endemic, endangered and virtually unstudied animals, is a conservation priority at a regional scale. Argentina's government decreed the creation of protected areas but there is not enough information to design an effective conservation landscape. To assist policy-makers, we will design a conservation landscape based on spatial needs of species with greatest impact on the ecosystem functions and huge area requirements. With a participatory field survey, we will determine species distributions. For each species, spatial requirements will be determined with habitat suitability models. Bi-dimensional models will be generated to establish conservation priority sites and its optimal interconnection. Project results will positively impact the preservation of many species, habitats, and the landscape integrity. With this project, people will get involved with conservation, territory management, and field techniques. We will determine feasible solutions for the conflicts between local people and wildlife. Project results will be incorporated into policies.