Fauna Australis

Fauna Australis is a leading research group for applied conservation sciences led by Professor Cristian Bonacic under the Natural Resources Programme of the Catholic University of Chile (Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile – PUC). Inspired by the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, Fauna Australis was founded in 2001 by Dr. Bonacic with the aim to conduct applied research on the conservation of wildlife in the southern cone of South America. Professor David Macdonald has been Honorary Director since the research group was founded.

A multidisciplinary research team, including agronomists, biologists, forestry engineers, geographers and veterinarians are addressing research on the current challenges of biodiversity conservation faced with global change. Former and current works contribute to the following main areas: ecology and vulnerability of endangered fauna, sustainable use of wild camelids, distribution and impacts of invasive fauna, productivity and ecology of Agro-ecosystems, resolution of conservation conflicts, and Ethnobiology in Aymaras and Mapuche communities. Recently socioecological studies and the effect of fire and feral domestic animals have become particularly relevant and Fauna Australis are working hard to produce science based recommendations for stakeholders.

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In recognition of their outstanding commitment to biodiversity, Fauna Australis was listed in the top 100 initiatives at the Catholic University of Chile.