Eyes over the Chilean Andes

Jorge Valenzuela, with the National Forest Corporation of Chile, and I have been checking our cameras in the Chilean Andes in recent weeks as part of his wildlife monitoring program. We have so far checked eight camera locations. We recorded Andean Cat, Pampas Cat, puma, culpeo (fox), Hog-nosed Skunk, Grison, Mountain Viscacha and Mountain Caracara in our camera traps. We observed rhea (nandu or Surire) with a group of babies and vicunas, but did not record them because our cameras are in the mountains, not the plains. We also used a drone to take pictures of the landscape that is truly immense and nearly treeless, except for the highest living trees on Earth, Polylepis tarapacana (or Queñoa de Altura). We also observed on the drone three species of flamingo–Andean, Chilean and James–living and nesting in Salar de Surire at 14,150 ft.

Enjoy the drone footage:

(Top photo: Greater Grison by Stephen J. Krasemann via Arkive)

About the Author

Jim Sanderson

Jim Sanderson

Jim Sanderson is GWC's program manager of Wild Cat Conservation. Jim received a Ph.D. from the University of New Mexico in 1976. He is the founder and director of the Small Wild Cat Conservation Foundation, a member of the IUCN Cat Specialist Group, a review board member of the Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund, and a fellow of Wildlife Conservation Network.