We are excited to announce our new interview series called KEYS, where we will be taking you into the field to meet the Key Conservation Pilot Projects! Our Pilot Projects are conservation organizations from all over the world who have joined us to help test the app in the field while it is in development. Each Pilot Project has an important role in giving their feedback on what they like about the app and what changes would help us make the app better. Their feedback helps us to make sure everything is working properly before we move onto the next stage of development.
Over the next few months, we will share the important work these conservation organizations are doing and how they are vital to Key's development through these exclusive interviews so be sure to stay tuned!
Our organization is called Biodiversity and Sustainability Research Center (BioS) and the Peruvian Desert Cat Project is one of the projects that we are currently work on within BioS.
where are you based?
We are based in Piura, Peru.
tell us about your organization and the work that you do.
BioS is a Peruvian non-profit association focusing its efforts on scientific and educational activities to promote sustainable development and conservation of terrestrial ecosystems. With our efforts, we seek to support Peruvian local communities, so that they use their resources in a sustainable manner and thus, ensure forest conservation.
WHAT SPECIES DO YOU WORK WITH AND WHAT HABITATS DO YOU WORK IN?
We mainly work with: Pampas cat (Leopardus colocolo), puma (Puma concolor), Sechuran Fox (Lycalopex sechurae), and Ecuadorian capuchins (Cebus aequatorialis). The main ecoregions where we conduct our activities include the Sechura Desert and the Tropical Dry Forest of northern Peru.
Both ecosystems are severely impacted by human activities and listed among the global 200 priority ecoregions for global conservation. Additionally, we also work with several rodent species in the central Andes of Peru.
WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES THAT YOU FACE AS AN ORGANIZATION?
Our first biggest challenge is raising awareness in local communities that rely on resource extraction or unsustainable activities for survival. Our second biggest challenge is funding for research and conservation activities. Our organization is fully composed of volunteers, most of us are dedicating our time to research as well as conservation activities in this NGO.
WHEN YOU ENCOUNTER HARD DAYS WHAT MOTIVATES YOU TO KEEP GOING?
When we have hard days, we think in all the progress that we had made for Peruvian wildlife and the support and encouragement from biology student. For example, with our pampas cat project, we have used the name Peruvian desert cat to try to increase pride in local people about the only wild cat in this ecosystem. When we see people in social media or hear people talking about the desert cat, we feel that we made a difference. Stories like this motivate us to keep going. Also, we checked our list of undergraduate students, and we realized that we have motivated and trained more than 50 people from different universities.
WHAT IS ONE OF YOUR FAVORITE STORIES FROM THE FIELD?
Definitely, our favorite story was when we captured the first pampas cat in the desert of northern Peruto fit it with a GPS collar. We had had two field trips without any luck; and it was so frustrating, especially because we had some many camera traps photos of the cats around the traps, but no captures. In our third trip, we spent more than one month in the field, trying to capture this small wildcat. Just after New Year's Eve, exactly January 1st and our last field day, we listened to one of our trap alarms that indicated us that something was captured. Thus, imagine our surprise and excitement when we finally run towards the trap to find a pampas cat inside. We felt that that was our reward and a good sign for a great new year!
WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO BE A KEY CONSERVATION PILOT PROJECT?
We want to be a pilot project because we think that this app will give us, and other small organizations, an incredible opportunity to reach a larger audience, to get volunteers and resources, and learn from other similar organizations. If more people know about us, more people would be engaged in protecting our Peruvian wildlife, thus supporting local communities.
WHAT KEY APP FEATURE ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO USING?
We are more interested on the Skilled Impact features. We think that supporters could help us continue with our conservation and research activities, when helping approaching a specific task, such as a graphic design to create awareness.
PLEASE SHARE WHERE WE CAN FIND YOU ON SOCIAL MEDIA
The links for our social medias are:
ALL PHOTOS PROVIDED BY: BIOS