Álvaro García Olaechea & Cindy Hurtado

Alvaro and Cindy are Peruvian biologists interested in the ecology and conservation of medium to large mammals, with special emphasis in felids. Alvaro is pursuing a Master’s degree in Ecology and Conservation at the State University of Santa Cruz, Brazil. Cindy is M Sc. currently pursuing a doctoral degree in the Forest Resources Management Department at the University of British Columbia in Canada. Both are founders of the Research Center Biodiversity Sustainability (BioS), and have conducted researches in the Sechura desert, seasonally dry forest and Peruvian rainforest.

Since 2015, Alvaro and Cindy are leading the Pampas cat (Leopardus colocolo) ecology and conservation project. They initially evaluated the pampas cat distribution in its northern arid populations (Sechura Desert and Seasonally Dry forest) and registered 12 new localities for Peru and Ecuador. Two of these records were the first ones for the Ecuadorian dry forest, and apparently its northern distribution within the dry forest is in Cerros de Amotape National Park in Peru. Based on the Sechura desert records, they focused the second part of the project in studying the spatial ecology of the pampas cat in two habitat types: in a small mangrove forest (San Pedro de Vice) and in a “true desert”, in the Illescas Reserve Zone, a locality with a harsh environment, almost no vegetation, high temperatures of 35–48°C, and where freshwater is approximately 35 km away. Additionally, they are raising awareness to local people and general public through environmental education workshops and media coverage.

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