Puma

91%

recovery

Pumas, Patagonia’s top carnivore, were extirpated from most of the steppe during the mid-1900s, but began to recover after the rural human population declined. WCS found that in one area they recovered 91% of their range in 10 years.

6%

of capital

Goat herders in northern Patagonia lose an average of 6% of their capital in livestock per year to pumas, so WCS assists these herders with methods to reduce their losses without killing pumas.


The puma is the top carnivore of the Patagonian and Andean Steppes. Extirpated from most of Patagonia during the 1900’s, it has made an incredible comeback to most of its former range in recent decades. Because the recovery of pumas has been more remarkable than that of their principal native prey, the guanaco, the functional relationship between both species has been lost or altered in most of Patagonia.

Challenges

Frequent or surplus killing of sheep and goats by pumas can be economically devastating to livestock producers. Because pumas had been so effectively eliminated from the region, in some areas the local people consider them an invasive species since they reappeared, and have no effective traditional means for preventing predation. 

Our Work

 We work with livestock producers, government, and partner NGOs, to help re-establish healthy populations of native prey of pumas, thus helping to shift pumas and other carnivores from consumption of livestock to their native prey. In addition, we assist livestock producers to protect their herds from predators using a variety of deterrent techniques, such as guarding dogs, automatic night-lights, and flagging.