Initiated by the GECM (a team of Argentine researchers, conservationists, and educators devoted to explore solutions to the conservation issues of South American mammals) in 2001, The Soul of the Andes is a long-term strategy that combines scientific research with community participation for the conservation of the endangered Andean Mountain Cat in Argentina. It also uses this elusive cat as a focal species for conservation in the High Andes ecosystem.
The Andean Cat only lives in the high-altitude desert areas of the Andes (the Puna region) of Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, and Chile. This species is mysterious, extremely elusive, and very rare. With increasing human activity in the Puna region - including the collection of firewood by villages and the opening of new mining roads - the delicate balance in this ecosystem is breaking. As a result, the long-term survival of the Andean Mountain Cat and other wildlife requires a landscape-level approach.
This project aims to conduct scientific research to better understand the Andean Cat and the threats it currently faces in order to promote the conservation of the species and its ecosystem. This project will also focus on extensive community involvement and education, the EduGat Programme, to empower the local people to directly participate in conservation.
Stay tuned for updates on this Project.