Livestock predation by puma in Parque Nacional Sajama (PNS) has generated a strong conflict between the economic interests of local communities and the conservation of this species. The objective of this paper is to provide information about the status of the puma population within the PNS and present possible options for diminishing the conflict. Five specimens of pumas were identified through be DNA microsatelites analysis extracted from fecal samples, and according to density estimates the maximum population expected for PNS should be of 10 adult pumas. Pumas of PNS showed a high genetic diversity (H=0.94) and a relatively high gene flow. For this reason, the hunting of pumas within the PNS cannot be considered a solution of the conflict. We suggest the following alternatives: 1) to improve several aspects of livestock management; 2) to test the use of conditioning taste aversion practices; 3) to explore special markets for meat and fiber of domestic animals of the PNS (friendly with predators); 4) selective eco-tourism; 5) economic compensation by means of projects explicitly linked to conservation. Appropriate actions in order to resolve this conflict should be urgently taken, before the local stockbreeders take their own actions that will probably affect negatively the puma populations.
|Translated title of the contribution||Puma conservation in Sajama National Park (Bolivia): Population status and alternatives to management|
|State||Published - Jan 2009|