My project () aims to perform long-term wild felid research in Central Chile, generating valuable knowledge about this group in this ecoregion (where they remain almost unknown), providing insights for the conservation and science-based management of these species.
The study area is located within the Chilean Winter Rainfall and Valdivian Forests Biodiversity Hotspot, comprises nearly 75,000 km2 with many threatened habitats (e.g.: Mediterranean Andean deciduous Nothofagus obliquaand Austrocedrus chilensis forest).
I am aplpying highly interdisciplinary approach comprising camera-trapping and noninvasive genetic sampling (e.g., fecal DNA) to assess population density, habitat use, connectivity, and resource selection for pumas and other felids in central Chile, providing valuable insights for the management: they will provide to the wildlife managers information on possible consequences of possible wildlife management actions.
Additionally, I aim to study species interactions between the puma and other carnivores in this ecoregion. Specifically, we are interested in the interactions between pumas and mesocarnivores –i.e.: culpeo fox (Lycalopex culpaeus); small wild felids such as the pampas-cat (Leopardus colocolo), which are highly relevant for the functionality of ecosystems.