THE USE OF TOXIC BAIT THEREATENS THE SURVIVAL OF THE ANDEAN CONDOR PUTTING ALL FORMS OF LIFE AT RISK
Within the PCCA framework, more than 300 condors from all over the country have been rescued, most of them arrived injured or dead due to the ingestion of toxic substances. Unfortunately, this is one the problems that face this species and that has become more relevant in the last years, a practice used by some farmers to try to control big carnivores (puma, fox, etc.) that affect their production. However, this practice is inefficient and non-specific since it puts all forms of life at risk. Since the Andean Condor is a scavenger, it is one of the species that is affected the most from this practice.
WHAT ARE WE DOING?
In order to address this matter urgently and take action to preserve this species, the National Secretariat for Environment and Sustainable Development and Fundación Bioandina Argentina in conjunction with support from environmental authorities of the country, have launched the National Strategy for Toxic Baits (ENCT in Spanish). This means to work jointly with the provinces where this species is present and apply a protocol to deal with cases of wild life poisoning. Under the ENCT framework, we provide people on the ground with a first aid kit that contains personal safety features for a ground intervention and materials to report what has occurred in each case, collect samples for study purposes and clean up the area.
At the same time, we carry out surveys to rural residents, training courses and ENTC participatory construction, which are supported by educational campaigns. Furthermore, work is occurring on the legal framework, by providing legislation on traceability, limitation of pesticides, as well as modifications in the penal code concerning environmental crime, in order to take concrete actions against this problematic situation.
The poisoning of wild life by the use of toxic baits is a problem that we must address urgently throughout its distribution, involving in an integrated way, government institutions at national and provincial level, NGOs, livestock organizations and those farmers interested in reducing the losses caused by predators.