Presenter Information

Guillermo Sapaj, Colby CollegeFollow

Location

Parker-Reed, SSWAC

Start Date

1-5-2014 9:00 AM

End Date

1-5-2014 10:00 AM

Project Type

Poster- Restricted to Campus Access

Description

After conducting Austral vizcacha (Lagidium wolffsohni) presence-absence surveys with Round River Conservation Studies (RRCS) in the Spring 2013 in Patagonia, I came back to Colby in the fall with the idea of learning more about these rock-specialist, large rodents. During the fall I gathered all the literature available on ecologically similar species (like southern vizcachas, marmots, pikas, and rock hyraxes) to better understand the ecology of these animals. I then worked on a GIS model of habitat suitability in order to assess potential locations for vizcacha colonies. Then, during January 2014, I went back to Patagonia to conduct the field component of my research. Working with Conservacion Patagonica wildlife managers, the conservation NGO running the Future Patagonia National Park, I selected a study area where I surveyed the distribution of vizcachas and generated an index of occupancy to estimate abundance. Based on what I had learned during the fall 2013 (i.e., metapopulation concepts and GIS) and during my semester abroad with RRCS (i.e. field methods and natural history of the region), I went on to speculate about potential patterns of dispersal among vizcacha colonies. My field research was coupled with four camera trap stations to monitor activity of vizcachas during the day and night in order to implement my surveys more accurately. My results are summarized in a descriptive map of the colonies in the study area in symbolized with the occupancy index. Part of my research will be used in future surveys in the Future Patagonia Park by Consevacion Patagonica park-rangers, while all of my maps and waypoints are currently being used to assess the damages on vizcacha colonies after a recent fire in the study area.

Sponsoring Department

Colby College. Environmental Studies Program

CLAS Field of Study

Interdisciplinary Studies

Event Website

http://www.colby.edu/clas

ID

135

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May 1st, 9:00 AM May 1st, 10:00 AM

Studying the Abundance and Distribution of Austral Vizcachas (Lagidium wolffsohni) in the Future Patagonia National Park, Chile

Parker-Reed, SSWAC

After conducting Austral vizcacha (Lagidium wolffsohni) presence-absence surveys with Round River Conservation Studies (RRCS) in the Spring 2013 in Patagonia, I came back to Colby in the fall with the idea of learning more about these rock-specialist, large rodents. During the fall I gathered all the literature available on ecologically similar species (like southern vizcachas, marmots, pikas, and rock hyraxes) to better understand the ecology of these animals. I then worked on a GIS model of habitat suitability in order to assess potential locations for vizcacha colonies. Then, during January 2014, I went back to Patagonia to conduct the field component of my research. Working with Conservacion Patagonica wildlife managers, the conservation NGO running the Future Patagonia National Park, I selected a study area where I surveyed the distribution of vizcachas and generated an index of occupancy to estimate abundance. Based on what I had learned during the fall 2013 (i.e., metapopulation concepts and GIS) and during my semester abroad with RRCS (i.e. field methods and natural history of the region), I went on to speculate about potential patterns of dispersal among vizcacha colonies. My field research was coupled with four camera trap stations to monitor activity of vizcachas during the day and night in order to implement my surveys more accurately. My results are summarized in a descriptive map of the colonies in the study area in symbolized with the occupancy index. Part of my research will be used in future surveys in the Future Patagonia Park by Consevacion Patagonica park-rangers, while all of my maps and waypoints are currently being used to assess the damages on vizcacha colonies after a recent fire in the study area.

http://digitalcommons.colby.edu/clas/2014/program/172