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Scientific Projects

The Huemul is endemic for southern Chile and Argentina, ranked Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in 1973. Despite the unknown number of copies in existence, its present population is estimated at an amount less than 1,500 copies worldwide.

Threats for this species are multiples and varied, mostly of anthropogenic origin, possibly being of greatest impact until nowerdays, farming and forestry activities, poaching and diseases transmitted by cattle and pets such as dogs.

This animal not only spreads diseases, it causes death by attacks and persecutions, affecting in some sectors young huemuls which do not have defense on these events.
In order to preserve this species, Huilo Huilo Foundation created the "Conservation Center of the Southern Huemul", which is located within the Biological Reserve Huilo Huilo, with the ultimate goal to reintroduce the species in a geographical area of which the reserve is part, where these representatives of our fauna were present until two decades ago.

Donor Population

To extract samples the Aysen region was selected. According to the information available at that time, the region had identified several populations at risk which were not protected. It was also the area of Chile that included the largest number of huemul sub-populations, and where his registration had been more frequent and continued over the past three decades.

Reception Plan Huilo Huilo

The Reserve Huilo Huilo was projected to enclosure of approximately 64 hectares, designed to receive the initial "units" and house them inside their descendants. This closure was established in the Pampa de Pilmaiquén Pampa, offering a high abundance and diversity of native plants particularly of shrubs, trees and herbs throughout the year. This sector has also the advantage to be excluded from cattle use for almost 30 years. It is located in lower altitude with a lower amount of snow and can receive the moderating influence of Lake Pirehueico.

Project Implementation

On April 18, 2005, south of Cochrane, on a private farm the extraction of the huemules for subsequent transfer to the Reserve Huilo Huilo took place. All proceedings in the capture process was thoroughly studied before, it was one of the most complex stages. We captured two copies, one female and one male, during one event. This is done with tele-injection or chemical immobilization with anesthetic darts, considering it as the safest way. Each sample was checked and its physiological variables such as rectal temperature, respiratory rate and heart rate were monitored. In addition, each specimen was individualized with a VHF radio collar and identified with a unique frequency. For the transportation there were specially for the project made wooden crates used.

To reach the reserve Huilo Huilo were three flights: the first by helicopter from near Villa O'Higgins, Aysen to Cochrane. From this area where flown to Temuco, and from here transfered in helicopter to Huilo Huilo Reserve.

Project Development

Huilo Huilo had started to work with the specimens brought from Aysén in a controlled or semi-captive ambient, in which it is intended that the animals can live within the facility as natural as possible with minimal human intervention. Copies are free environments to their new habitat problems and presented a very good body condition, had good food, it enjoyed a considerable and varied food supply.

The year 2005 is a complex health event. The male exhibited wounds of unknown origin in their paws. The following month, was the female who presented a second picture even more complex. In both cases the animals remained under observation, is given antibiotics, making each issue out of her complication. At the end of 2005 comes the birth of Fochem, huemul first breeding in a controlled environment, made successful and a pioneer in our territory.

The winter of 2006 there were heavy snowfalls in the area, covering close to disappearing completely. But huemules not escape, set up a shelter within the Center and remained there until the snow disappeared.

A few months later confiscated a huemul SAG in Futaleufu, which is delivered to Huilo Huilo for care. The year 2006 is one of the saddest years for those working on the project. Within the closure is the first female dead brought from the Aysen Region. The autopsy indicated that death was caused by a bullet wound, which ultimately led to cardiac arrest. Until today it has not been given to the authors. The year 2010 built a new closure, which was derived from the first male specimen was taken from the south, while the two males born at the Center with new genetic went to closing with the females to keep trying new reproductions. For the adult male aggression, we could not keep all the males in the same closure.

Today the Center for Reproduction of Huemul del Sur has seven specimens of this species.

Future Project

Within two to three years will begin to evaluate a plan of gradual liberalization of huemul south to Huilo Huilo Reserve. To consider the release of individuals will be expected to have a population of huemules in the center of at least 10 breeding stock.

Importance of Conservation Huemul

Initiatives allow ex-situ conservation establish long-term captive breeding programs to preserve the genetic material of the species and produce animals for reintroduction.
In the short to medium term to develop management tools allow for refining the techniques of breeding and reintroduction of endangered species. Being able to play the huemul, keep the animals alive and in good condition within a controlled environment, is able to generate an important tool for the preservation of this species is now in serious danger of extinction.

Today there is the ability to perform this action, and therefore a small guarantee for an extinction event, which are inevitable to continue the current conditions.

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Colección de Herbario de Flora Nativa

El conocimiento de la diversidad vegetal dentro de la Reserva aumenta las posibilidades de éxito en la conservación de las especies presentes, ya que otorga la posibilidad de establecer áreas prioritarias y ordenar espacialmente los esfuerzos de conservación.

El objetivo de este proyecto es la creación de un sistema de colección botánica centralizada en un sistema de bases de datos, nutrido dinámicamente de información a partir de la formación de un herbario con especímenes fotografiados y georefereciadas.

Recolección y conservación de Semillas

De manera paralela a la recolección de especímenes del herbario se plantea la creación de un banco de semillas, cuyo objetivo es la conservación a corto plazo (<2 años) de semillas de especies nativas manteniendo la viabilidad de ellas. Los objetivos de de este proyecto son variados, pudiendo utilizarse en programas de restauración ecológica, educación ambiental, investigación, etc.

Identificación Comunidad Fitoplanctónica Lago Pirehueico

Durante un año se observó y analizó las cristalinas aguas del lago Pirehuico, en Puerto Fuy, en diferentes estaciones del año. Las cuales fueron fijadas y posteriormente identificadas bajo un microscopio de alta resolución.

Respecto a las comunidades fitoplanctónicas (microalgas) se identificaron algunas especies de diatomeas, algas unicelulares microscópicas que pertenecen al reino protista.

Estos son organismos fotosintetizadores que viven en agua dulce o marina constituyendo una parte muy importante del fitoplancton. Uno de los rasgos característicos de las células de diatomeas es la presencia de una cubierta de sílice (dióxido de silicio hidratado).

La evidencia fósil sugiere que se originaron durante o antes del período Jurásico temprano, aproximadamente hace 200 millones de años.

Proyecto de Ordenamiento y Zonificación Territorial de la Reserva

La confección de un plan de ordenamiento del territorio consiste en varias fases que van desde el diagnóstico en términos cuantitativos y cualitativos hasta determinar finalmente el uso y manejo más adecuado para cada unidad.

Este plan se crea a través de una cantidad determinada de niveles de información, la que es capturada, analizada e ingresada al sistema por un equipo multidisciplinario, en base a un objeto específico de realizar una zonificación de los sitios de interés ecológicos y turísticos dentro de la Reserva Huilo Huilo.

Herramienta de gran valor al determinar sitios prioritarios de conservación, relocalizar especies en caso de lugares intervenidos y utilizarlo como herramienta al momento de tomar decisiones sobre senderos o modificaciones de estructuras.

La información se procesa principalmente a través de SIG (Sistema de información geográfica) generado en diversas etapas, cartografía orientada a graficar el uso de la especie y adicionalmente otro tipo de elementos gráficos, que apoyen la visualización en términos temporales.

Monitoreo glaciológico del glaciar oriental del volcán Mocho Choshuenco

Desde el año 2003 se está realizando el monitoreo del glaciar oriental del volcán Mocho Choshuenco, que tiene un área de 5.9 km2 y que alimenta el río Blanco, el cual desagua al lago Maihue, cuenca del río Bueno. En el periodo 2003-2012 este programa de monitoreo fue patrocinado por el Centro de Estudios Científicos (CECs) y contó con el apoyo de la Fundación Huilo Huilo. A partir de agosto de 2012 el monitoreo es patrocinado por la Fundación Huilo Huilo y liderado por el Dr. Gino Casassa y el Ingeniero José Luis Rodríquez.

El monitoreo, único en el sur de Chile, tiene por objetivo medir el balance de masa del glaciar y sus variaciones, y correlacionarlo con las condiciones climáticas de la zona. El volcán Mocho Choshuenco es geológicamente activo, pero no tiene actualmente actividad eruptiva ni fumarólica, aunque sí existen aguas termales en sus faldeos. Su última erupción ocurrió en 1864. En este sentido su balance de masa está principalmente controlado por las condiciones climáticas y la dinámica propia del glaciar. El balance de masa muestra alta variabilidad interanual, controlada tanto por las precipitaciones nivales del invierno y la ablación estival.

En las últimas décadas se ha observado un retroceso y adelgazamiento del glaciar del volcán Mocho Choshuenco, coincidente con la disminución de la mayor parte de los glaciares de la zona, debido a la disminución de la precipitaciones y al calentamiento atmosférico. El glaciar está incluido en la Reserva Nacional Mocho Choshuenco. Como parte del programa de monitoreo se han instalado dos estaciones meteorológicas en roca (una en el sector del glaciar y la otra aguas abajo del glaciar) y una estación hidrométrica en un afluente del río Blanco que es propiedad de la Dirección General de Aguas.

Donación en Línea

Queremos invitarte a ser parte de nuestro emblemático proyecto de conservación del Huemul del Sur.
El Huemul es un símbolo nacional y en la actualidad se estima que quedan menos ejemplares que osos panda en el mundo.

Destino Turistico Sustentable

 

Memoria Fundación Huilo Huilo