The Science Seminar Series: February 23, 2012
Conservation of the Gran Chaco: Jaguars and camera traps
Dr. Andrew Noss
Asociación Civil Centrode Investigaciones delBosque Atlántico(CeIBA)—Argentina
Wildlife Conservation Society
University of Florida
Time: 4:00 -5:00pm
The Gran Chaco covers 1 million square kilometers in Argentina, Bolivia, and Paraguay; is the largest ecoregion after the Amazon in South America, and the world’s most extensive dry forest. Annual rainfall is as low as 400 mm, and 6 months or more with no surface water for resident wildlife that includes lowland tapir, three species of peccary, jaguar, ocelot, giant armadillo, giant anteater, several primates, and many armadillos. The Chaco boasts the continent’s hottest temperatures in summer swinging to below-freezing temperatures in winter. The lack of water—boreholes may be 150 m deep and often bring up salty water—and thorny dense forest has protected the Chaco, yet machines and irrigation are converting vast areas to commercial crops such as soybean and cotton. One uncontacted group of Ayoreode Indians continues to wander between Bolivia and Paraguay, while other indigenous communities depend on subsistence agriculture and hunting with extensive ranching.