Wednesday, 18 April 2012

The Peru government made a law that prohibited the hunting of vicuña, but many people are still poaching the South American Camelid. The people could contain the vicuñas then shear them, - this is not ideal but is much better than the alternative - but many people are still choosing to kill vicuñas and then shear them. Some people in the local villages turn to poaching vicuñas than going through the long herding process. Poachers skin the dead vicuñas, leave the carcass and sell the fibre on the black market. Many villagers agree that to prevent poaching, they need money to buy better equipment such as binoculars and vehicles to catch the poachers. 

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Despite the fact that the vicuña is no longer endangered and is only considered threatened, vicuñas are still being sheared to get their wool. Vicuña wool is highly expensive due to the fact that they can only be shorn about once every three years. To shear vicuña, they are usually herded into a V-shaped fenced off area. Many vicuñas are known to have their necks broken while being herded into the fenced area. Here, they are restrained and the shearers take the wool usually only leaving fur on the chest and stomach. This is not enough fur to protect them from the extreme heat or cold in the Andean lanscape.

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Monday, 16 April 2012

The vicuña is a member of the camel family which is native to South America. It is closely related to the llama, alpaca and guanaco. The vicuña is the national animal of Peru, and it's population is threatened. Up until 1964 there was unrestricted hunting of the vicuña, and this made the number of vicuñas drop to only 6,000. It officially became endangered in 1964, and it became illegal to trade vicuña fibre. In Peru from 1964-1966 the Pampa Galeras Refugio para Vicuña was created, which is a conservation area for the vicuña. More people helped to protect the vicuña and stop poaching, and the vicuña population in Peru increased to almost 75,000. Today, the vicuña has been reclassified to threatened, but the vicuñas in Equador are still considered endangered.

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