Dr. Juan Valqui  

 

 

Research interests:

Population genetics of mustelids
Conservation biology of endangered species
Identification of evolutionary significant units (ESU)
Conservation management in Peru





Research project: "Proyecto Lontra felina"

Population genetics and conservation of the Marine Otter (Lontra felina) in Peru

The marine otter Lontra felina i
s an endangered species living in the fragmentet habitat of the Peruvian Coast. Population numbers, occurrence areas and limits of distribution of the world´s smallest marine mammal are still under discussion. In the 20th century intensive hunting  was the major threat to L. felina while today the effect  of other human activities (urbanization, pollution, and intensive fisheries) have a great impact on the marine otter population, principally through their habitat fragmentation forces.

Scat samples from over 1500 km of the Peruvian coast were colleceted for this analysis. Relatively high levels  of genetic variability were found (CR: h = 0.69; pi = 0.0061; cyt b: h = 0.848; pi = 0.0027). Despite a disjunct population no isolation by distance was found, suggesting a moderate gene flow. A Population Viability Analysis showed that extinction of all population is predominantly related to habitat reduction , while inbreeding, catastrophes and diseases are decisive factors for smaller, more isolated populations.

Field work included environmental education work in cooperation with the NGOs Yaqu Pacha and Pro Delphinus. The flagship species has helped to involve fishermen and schoolchildren in education and conservation efforts for coastal and marine areas in Peru.

 

                                                                 Projekt Arche Noah Video - click here

Publications

COSSIOS, ALCAZAR, FAJARDO, CHAVEZ, ALFARO, ALAYZA, VALQUI et al. 2012. The order Carnivora (Mammalia) in Peru: State of knowledge and research priorities for its conservation. Revista Peruana de Biología 19: 17-26.

VALQUI, J. 2012. The marine otter Lontra felina (Molina, 1782): A review of its present status and
implications for future conservation. Mammalian Biology 77: 75-83.

ALFARO-SHIGUETO, J., VALQUI, J., MANGEL, J.C. 2011. Nuevo registro de la nutria marina Lontra felina (Molina, 1782) al norte de su distribución actual. Revista de Ecologia Aplicada 10: 87-91.

VALQUI, J. 2010. Primer estudio genético de la nutria marina (Lontra felina) en la costa peruana. Revista Peruana de Ciencias, online: www.revistadeciencias.com.

VALQUI, J., HARTL, G. B., ZACHOS, F. E. 2010. Non-invasive genetic analysis reveals high levels of mtDNA variability in the endangered South-American marine otter (Lontra felina). Conservation Genetics 11: 2067-2072.

VALQUI, J. and J. SOLIS. 2009. Distribución, ocurrencia y estado de las poblaciones de la nutria marina (Lontra felina) en el Perú. I Congreso de la Sociedad Peruana de Mastozoologia, Cusco - Perú. Ponencia. 2-5 de Noviembre de 2008.

VALQUI, J., D. BIFFI, J. SOLIS, y N. ORTIZ. 2008. Encontré una Tortuga muerta en la playa, ¿y ahora qué? Simposio nacional de Tortugas marinas. Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina (UNALM). Poster. Lima-Perú. 6p.

BARRIO, J. and J. VALQUI. 2005. Fishing by two Furnariidae: Pacific Hornero Furnarius (leucopus) cinnamomeus and Surf Cinclodes Cinclodes taczanowskii. Cotinga 24: 42-44

VALQUI, J. 2004. Comportamiento de la nutria marina Lontra felina (Molina 1782) en una ambiente antrópico, la bahía de Pucusana -Lima, Perú. Tesis para optar el título de Biólogo. Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina (UNALM). Lima, Perú. 58 p.

APAZA, M., J. VALQUI., J. ALFARO., J. MANGEL., M. ROCA y L. SANTILLAN. 2003. Lontra felina: Documentación Requerida para los Taxones Incluidos en la Lista Roja de la UICN. Taller Nacional sobre Categorización de Especies Amenazadas de Fauna Silvestre. Instituto Nacional de Recursos Naturales. Lima. 14 p.

APAZA, M., J. VALQUI y C. CASTAÑEDA. 2003. Estado de Conservación de las Poblaciones de Spheniscus humboldti y Lontra felina en la Costa Norte del Perú. Informe interno. Instituto Nacional de Recursos Naturales (INRENA). Lima. 30 p.

APAZA, M., M. LLEELLISH, J. VALQUI, C. CESPEDES, M. ROCA, J. ALFARO y G. MUNEMURA. 2002. Estado de Conservación de las Poblaciones de Spheniscus humboldti y Lontra felina en la Costa Sur del Perú. Informe interno. Instituto Nacional de Recursos Naturales (INRENA). Lima. 37 p.

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