Sharing the landscape with an Andean symbol: conserving the Andean condor in southern Peru

Sandra Cuadros

Vultures are species of ecological importance for healthy ecosystems. Despite this, many species in this guild are heavily threatened due to direct persecution, land-use change, habitat pollution, use of poisons, and in most cases, all of the previously mentioned. The Andean condor is a species that is intrinsically related to Andean cultures, and therefore it has strong potential to become a flagship species for the conservation of the whole ecosystem. However, the species is facing many of the aforementioned threats, and southern Peru is a region where cultural traditions have also posed a threat to Andean condors, despite being an area of conservation priority for the species. The purpose of this project is to quantify the main threats to Andean condors and strengthen conservation strategies by 1) assessing human perception through surveys with local people to identify potential conflicts or persecution, 2) assessing landscape threats including poison use, habitat pollution, and conversion through surveys and secondary data, and 3) raise awareness of the species’ conservation through workshops, education, and outreach activities with teachers. The results will help target conservation initiatives by creating long-term engagement with the community, thus changing the attitude from conflict to co-existence.