Condor Valley, a privately-owned, secluded property of 70,000 acres in the northwestern province of Salta, Argentina, is a special place, home not just to condors, but to a wide and diverse community of wildlife species. As such, the management of this historic estancia, known locally as “La Bodega,” is working with GWC to create a more sustainable model for this 150-year-old historic estancia. Core to this new focus will be the creation of a large, mountainous nature reserve and a conservation institute to support environmental research and ecotourism.
Since 2011, small teams of scientists and volunteers have informally conducted studies of the wildlife and biodiversity at Condor Valley, starting with the North Andean Deer (Hippocamelus antisensis), better known as the “Taruka.” The species is known to frequent the high-elevation grasslands of Condor Valley surrounding Mount Creston.
The flora and fauna of Condor Valley is diverse and abundant. The varied microclimates support habitats of many small mammals and birds of almost any zoological species. The felines include Jaguarundi, Ocelets, Pumas and Pampas Cats, among others. In addition, there are Collared Peccaries, so-called Corzuelas, Agoutis, and cranes and herons; as well as ducks, rabbits, tayra, fox, wild boar, partridges and, of course, condors.
(Top photo of Condor Valley by Adam Guy)
Global Wildlife Conservation and other biologists have laid the groundwork over the past few years for commencing a survey of the region, which will initially rely primarily on camera traps. This survey will open the way for the protection of Taruka, other species and the habitat native to Condor Valley and Mt. Creston.
GWC and Condor Valley are working together to establish the W. Henry Hudson Institute of Conservation at an already existing facility at La Bodega. Our first goal is to conduct a more extensive Rapid Assessment of the area’s flora and fauna in February 2017 and double the number of Bushnell trap cameras in both adjacent and new areas of the property. Our longer-term goal is to secure 10,000 to 30,000 acres of Mt. Creston and its surrounding grasslands as a protected conservation property and research area. With an ongoing analysis of the ecosystems and fauna from the base of operations at Condor Valley, the Institute and GWC will work closely with U.S. universities and worldwide research organizations to actively support conservation efforts critical to the Salta region of Northwest Argentina.
Read GWC Communications Director Robin Moore’s account of a visit to Condor Valley.
CONDOR VALLEY PHOTO ALBUM:
North Andean Deer, Jaguarundi, Ocelets, Pumas, Pampas Cats, Collared Peccaries, Corzuelas, Agoutis, cranes, herons, ducks, rabbits, tayra, fox, wild boar, partridges, condors
Conduct a more extensive Rapid Assessment of the area’s flora and fauna
Secure 10,000 to 30,000 acres of Mt. Creston and its surrounding grasslands as a protected conservation property and research area