Threats

Over the years, AGA has identified the most important direct and indirect threats to Andean cat populations. Through multinational programs we are neutralizing or diminishing these threats, working with local communities to increase the security of Andean cat populations.

Habitat degradation and loss

Activities that negatively impact Andean cat habitats include mining, oil extraction, destructive livestock, irresponsible agriculture, and inappropriate tourism practices. Some of these activities may be direct, such as the unregulated use of water sources or building more roads, which increases the frequency of vehicular deaths for Andean cats or provides poachers with easier access to their territory.. Other activities have indirect consequences, such as the clearing of vegetation, which reduces the density of prey species. Global phenomena such as climate change also compound the effects of these threats.

Conservation interventions:

  • Modular Education Program
  • Green Gold Program
  • Catcrafts Program
  • Research projects studying the impacts of habitat degradation on Andean cat populations

Retaliatory Killing

Certain native carnivores, such as pumas and culpeo foxes, can attack domestic livestock and create conflict between humans and wildlife. When this happens, herders hunt all carnivores indiscriminately, causing Andean cats and even scavengers like Andean condors to suffer unjustly. In northern Patagonia, hunting is so intense that more than half of Andean cat´s presence records obtained correspond to animals that have been hunted.

Conservation interventions:

  • Conflict Mitigation Program
  • Modular Education Program

Hunting

Hunting, whether opportunistic or for traditional purposes, can be a major threat to the Andean cat. The hunting of their prey species can also lead to the reduction of Andean cat populations. While traditional hunting can be environmentally sustainable, on a larger scale it can produce significant imbalance in the ecosystem, affecting all of the species within it.

Conservation interventions:

  • Modular Education Program
  • Catcrafts Program

Irresponsible pet ownership

Domestic carnivores, traditionally considered pets, affect Andean cat populations in a variety of ways. The presence of dogs in the wild, whether they are feral or uncontrolled domestics, leads to increased predation of the Andean cat. Domestic dogs and cats can also act as vectors for parasites and diseases that can be transmitted to Andean cats. This can cause severe reductions in local populations.

Conservation interventions:

  • 24/7 Field Program
  • Modular Education Program
  • Green Gold Program

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