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Argentina is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world. Due to its size, it has a large variety in ecosystems including the Andes mountains, Patagonian steppes, the Atlantic coastline, and the Pampas grasslands. This large variety in ecosystems is also reflected in the seven cat species present in Argentina. Among them the Geoffroy's cat, Pampas cat, Puma and the elusive Andean cat.

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The region of Patagonia is mostly known for its vast steppes, mountainous terrain and unique biodiversity. The main cat species present in the region are Pampas cat, Geoffroy’s cat and Puma. The distribution of some of these species is poorly known. Habitat destruction and hunting could mean that these species are in danger without us even realizing. More research is needed and conservation actions implemented accordingly. This means there are a lot of opportunities for NGOs like us to help the wildlife.

The project

Mauro Lucherini reached out whether we were interested in helping his work in the Patagonian cat project by mapping the distribution of the Geoffrey’s cat , Pampas cat and Puma. We support his research with multiple camera traps.

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Mauro Lucherini

Project partner

Mauro grew up in Italy and studied biology - zoology. He was already interested in carnivores in his studies and then did a PhD on the Crested Porcupine (Hystrix cristata) spatial ecology. During these years, he had already had his first contact with South America when he was participating / leading 3 expeditions to remote areas of the Andes, where data on wild camelids (Vicugna vicugna and Lama guanicoe) was collected.

In 1996 he moved permanently to Argentina where he still lives today. He founded GECM, a team devoted to carnivore research and conservation. Since then, has been working on a number of little-known carnivores and in particular also the Puma (Puma concolor), the Geoffroy’s cat (Leopardus geoffroyi)the Pampas cat (Leopardus colocolo), the Andean cat (Leopardus jacobita and the Kodkod (Leopardus guigna).

For the last 10 years, he has been focusing on human-wildlife interactions, especially carnivore-livestock conflict assessment and mitigation, but also in planning and implementing carnivore conservation programs.

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