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| 10/25/2011 12:00:00 PM

A Ranch With Room for Cattle and Capybara

October 25-- Here’s a Dot Earth Postcard from Rhett Butler, the founder of the essential Mongabay.com blog tracking issues related to conserving forests and biological diversity worldwide. Butler took the images above while visiting a ranch in Colombia that is managed to accommodate both livestock and wildlife. Whether in South America, the Adirondacks, the Serengeti or Asia, there’s enormous logic in finding ways to mesh human livelihoods and wildlife that don’t involve fences. The card was prompted indirectly by my recent coverage of raids of Gibson Guitar facilities under environmental laws. His dispatch is below (I’ve added some contextual links):

I’m writing from Casanare in eastern Colombia. The region is known for the llanos, an area of tropical savanna that could be described as a cross between two ecosystems in South America: the flooded grasslands of Pantanal and the prairie-like Cerrado. The region is extremely rich with wildlife. A lot of animals found in the Amazon live here, except they are out in the open and therefore easier to see.

I’ve been staying on a cattle ranch called Hato la Aurora where the owners have gone to great efforts to accommodate both livestock and wildlife. The efforts have paid off — a few days ago I was in an area of flooded pasture where I could see at least 1,000 capybara, the world’s largest rodent. There are more than 400 species of birds on the ranch and five species of wildcat have been photographed here (Panthera, WWF, and other conservation groups have conducted research here due to the accessibility of the site and abundance of cats).           
 
 
Read more here.

Semana International delivers news about Colombia in English. Find more in our home.

 

 
 
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