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Tuesday, August 7 • 7:00pm - 9:00pm
WORKSHOP: Evaluating the Critical State of the Endangered Patagonian Huemul Deer

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Jo Anne Smith-Flueck, Ph.D.; Laboratorio Teriogenología, Universidad Nacional del Comahue; Fundación Shoonem, Argentina

Werner T. Flueck, Ph.D.; CONICET National Research Institute and National Parks of Argentina; STPH Institute at University of Basel; Fundación Shoonem, Switzerland

Zygmunt Gizejewski, Ph.D.; Institute of Animal Reproduction and Food Research, Polish Academy of Sciences, Olsztyn, Poland


The huemul, listed as an endangered species on the IUCN Red List and despite conservation efforts over the past 25 years, has not yet been guided to the road of recovery. To the contrary, the majority of subpopulations have continued to drop in size with some on the very brink of extinction (less than 10 individuals) and are isolated. In this workshop we would like to explore how the loss of migrational behavior and human disturbance led to the restricted current range of this species -- generally confined to the upper Andean slopes with suboptimal nutrient availability -- and how this nutritional deficiency has essentially become in modern times the ultimate factor behind their decline, thus the root cause underlying the various proximate causes (i.e., killings by predators such as puma, foxes and dogs), which call more attention to themselves and thus are given the blame. Strategies to overcome these limitations, with focus on a conservation breeding program to include reintroductions to historical lowland habitat as a prime goal, will be discussed and a final report summarizing the discussion and recommendations will be produced for publication in the congress proceedings.

This workshop is timely given the precarious nature of the populations of the huemul, which are continuing to decline despite conservation efforts. This workshop should interest deer biologists who work with threatened species in discussing benefits and disadvantages of recovery strategies with particular focus on captive breeding as a working tool. Biologists working in reproduction, behavior, reintroductions, migrational movements and mineral deficiencies in cervids inhabiting suboptimal environments will also find this workshop of high interest and will hopefully contribute their own experiences to improving huemul conservation in South America. The idea would be to present several talks around the theme and then speakers would participate in a panel that opens the topic to the audience for discussion.

Tuesday August 7, 2018 7:00pm - 9:00pm
Longs Peak Lodge – Chasm Lake Meeting Room