Fauna Australis

Camélidos Sudamericanos

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 Artículos destacados 2019.

The relationship between coping styles and responses to handling in captive guanacos (Lama guanicoe)


The presence of proactive and reactive phenotypes in female guanaco, using both physiological (cortisol) and behavioral parameters (active or passive handling avoidance) were determined.

Behavioral and physiological responses indicate a higher ability of proactive animals to cope with adverse factors than reactive group.

An assessment of coping styles could to improve the establishing of different management strategies oriented to increase animal welfare to diverse species of small ruminants in captivity.


The objective of the present study was to evaluate the coping style response to handling of guanacos (Lama guanicoe) in captivity. This study contributes to a better understanding of the handling effect in captivity of the largest wild camelid of South America. Individual coping style response to handling was studied in 17 adult captive-bred guanacos. Handling was performed every 2 h for 24 h and serum cortisol concentration and behavioral responses were measured during the entire cycle of handling (12 times). Principal component analysis results showed three main factors: the first associated with reactive behavior (more immobility and escaping, less spitting) and the second and third associated with proactive behavior (more territorial control behaviors and less jumping). Nine animals were classified as reactive and eight as proactive, based on the highest component score attained. Mean cortisol concentration was 368.45 nmol/L in the reactive group and 155.96 nmol/L in the proactive group (p < 0.01). The lower levels of cortisol in the proactive group could indicate a higher ability to cope with adverse factors than the reactive group. An assessment of coping styles could improve the establishment of different management strategies oriented to increase animal welfare for diverse species of small ruminants in captivity.

Ontological Politics of Wildlife: Local People, Conservation Biologists and Guanacos

Year : 2019  |  Volume : 17  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 250-257

In this article, we analyse the politics behind human-wildlife relations, based on the different understanding of guanacos by local people and conservationists in Northern Chile. We use a political ontology framework to study the interactions between different ontologies of wildlife. The analysis is based on in-depth interviews, field observations, documents analyses, and personal experience in guanaco conservation research. The relation between guanacos and local people is characterised by frequent and material encounters and the presence of the animal in the domestic sphere through multiple uses. The conservationists account of guanacos is characterised by spatial distribution, population size, habitat, and threat assessments, and the application of universal categories to classify this species. These different relationships with guanacos are related to two different ontologies of wildlife. For conservationists, the nature-society dichotomy is clear— guanacos are defined in a nature without humans, and in order to protect them they should be kept away from human activities. On the contrary, for local people, nature and society are not worlds apart. Guanacos are neither totally wild nor totally domestic. Understanding these differences is important because these ontologies interact and affect each other. In this case, the conservationist ontology was dominant over the local one. Also, the interactions between ontologies affect and are affected by conservation action, and by the general socio-political context. A better understanding of local ontologies is an important step to improve the relationship between conservationists and local communities.

Keywords: Ontological politics, wildlife conservation, guanacos, Atacama, Chile

  • Petitpas, R., Bonacic, C. 2019. Ontological Politics of Wildlife: Local People, Conservation Biologists and Guanacos. Conservat Soc, 17(3):250-257.
  • Ohrens, O., Bonacic, C., Treves, A. 2019. Non‐lethal defense of livestockagainst predators: flashing lights deter puma attacks in Chile.  Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 17(1):32-38. doi:10.1002/fee.1952
  • Root-Bernstein, M., Guerrero-Gatica, M., Piña, L., Bonacic, C., Svenning, J.C., Jaksic, F.M. 2017. Rewilding-inspired transhumance for the restoration of semiarid silvopastoral systems in Chile. Regional Environmental Change 17(5):1381-1396.
  • Ohrens, O., Treves, A., & Bonacic, C. 2016. Relationship between rural depopulation and puma-human conflict in the high Andes of Chile. Environmental Conservation, 43(1):24-33.
  • Riveros, J. L., Schuler, G., Urquieta, B., Hoffmann, B. and Bonacic, C. 2015. Ovarian Follicular Activity During Late Gestation and Postpartum in Guanaco (Lama guanicoe). Reproduction in Domestic Animals 50:129-134.