Project Vison: Mustela vison
This study reports the effect of Mustela vison, an exotic species, in one of the last pristine ecoregions of the world located in Navarino Island (54-55ºS), Cape Horn Biosphere Reserve. This protected area is the nearest zone of South America to the Antarctic Peninsula, where the birds nests at ground level due to the absence of mammalian terrestrial predators. The first registry of M. vison in the island is recent (2001) and the effect of its presence is unknown.
Presently, M. vison would be using great part of wetland habitats of Navarino Island, where it would be affecting the birds, specially in the summer period, when the wetlands serve as reproduction site for the species. Species like the Upland Goose Chloephaga picta and some passerines are those that display a greater risk of predation by M. vison.
This project founded by the Environmental National Comission (CONAMA) included an educational component to create conscience of the effects of this invasive species in the ecosystems and culture of Cape Horn, and a course to the Puerto Williams population to build capacities and new hunters of the invasive species. This project included the participation of the Omora Ethnobotanical Park-IEB, UMAG, Fauna Australis, Wildlife Trust Alliance and SAG.