BALDI Ricardo
congresos y reuniones científicas
Population dynamics of reintroduced guanacos (Lama guanicoe) in the Quebrada del Condorito National Park, Argentina
Mendoza, Argentina
Congreso; 10th International Mammalogical Congress; 2009
In 2007 a population of 113 guanacos (Lama guanicoe) was reintroduced to the Quebrada del Condorito National Park (PNQC), in the mountains of central Argentina. Throughout two years of monitoring using radio-telemetry and conducting field observations we investigated the population dynamics of reintroduced guanacos and modeled their future projection by means of specific software (Vortex 9). Over 80% of the individuals died during the first three weeks after the release, primarily due to predation by pumas (Felis concolor) (43.8%) and factors associated with generalized weakness or infections (34.4%). Males died more than females (61% vs. 39%) and older more than younger adults (60% vs. 40%). Whereas, 22 individuals who exceeded the critical post-liberation period, successfully established three breeding groups or harems in their new habitat and produced 4 newborn “chulengos” in 2007 and 5 in 2008. Three out of the four chulengos born in 2007 died from weakness, and one due to puma predation, hence none survived over two months of life. Instead, two out of the five chulengos born in 2008 survived to the juvenile stage, while one died from weakness, one due to the entangled in a wire fence, and the other was killed by pumas. Our results on population projection suggest that the establishment of a viable guanaco population in PNQC depends on the reinforcement of the current population with further reintroduced individuals. It is also important to make specific management decisions to reduce the initial high mortality, including the introduction of more females than males, and the implementation of a “softer” release with a longer period of adaptation to the new environment. Thus, the success of the first reintroduction of guanacos in Argentina largely depends on properly planned actions.