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The mismatch between location of protected areas and suitable habitat for the Vulnerable taruka Hippocamelus antisensis

  • Cristina Mata (a1), Nicolás Fuentes-Allende (a2), Juan E. Malo (a1), André Vielma (a3) and Benito A. González (a3)...

Protected areas help to decrease human impacts on threatened mammals but do not always include species’ core habitats. Here we focus on the Vulnerable taruka Hippocamelus antisensis near the Atacama Desert, Chile, a population that is mainly threatened by interactions with local human communities. We develop a species distribution model for taruka and assess the contribution of protected areas to safeguarding its preferred habitat. From sightings (collected during 2004–2015), absence records (collected in 2014), and environmental variables, we determined that taruka habitat is scarce, highly fragmented and limited to humid areas. Only 7.7–11.2% of the taruka's core habitat is under protection. We recommend the establishment of a protected area in the south of Arica-Parinacota district, an area without settlements that lies within the taruka's core habitat, along with educational programmes, fencing of crops, and inclusion of communities in decision-making in areas where farmer–taruka interactions are negative.

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Also at: TARUKARI, Santiago, Chile

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