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Oregon State University

Publication Date

Fall 2018

Program Name

Ecuador: Comparative Ecology and Conservation


The large mammal community of the high Andes may be the least understood in South America. It contains multiple threatened and charismatic species including the Andean Bear, Mountain Tapir, Red Brocket Deer, Northern Pudu, and Puma. Many of these species are lacking in distribution and population data. The highlands of the Parroquia de Angochagua were once overgrazed by livestock, but have been mostly restored over the last 20 years through conservation efforts by the local community. These highlands are thought to have populations of all the previously mentioned species, though they had not been surveyed before this study. Transect surveys and camera traps were used over a one month period to confirm presence of species and gain insight into niche partitioning and habitat preference among the large mammal community. The presence of nine species was confirmed in the study area, including mountain tapir, puma, white-tailed deer, and Andean bear. Because these highlands harbor high-profile species but remain unprotected, this study provided a preliminary survey of the large mammal community as a platform for further conservation efforts. Work was carried out with the support of Big Mammals Conservation.


Animal Studies | Biodiversity | Latin American Studies | Zoology


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