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CONOPA: Actividades
 

At present, CONOPA is participating in research projects on alpaca genetics, sustainable utilization of the vicuña and guanaco, and guanaco conservation and population genetics in Peru. The first project is financed by INCAGRO, Peru, and has involved evaluation of the alpaca population of Canchis Province, Cusco, to determine the incidence of nonhybridized, genetically pure animals and the relationship of purity to fibre quality.

The second project is MACS, Sustainable Management of Wild South American Camelids funded by the European Community. CONOPA is the Peruvian partner in a major undertaking headed by the Macaulay Land Use Research Institute in Aberdeen, Scotland, and composed of Euroean (Giessen University, University of Norway, Valencia University) and South American (Catholic University Chile; Lujan University, Argentina; and CONOPA, Peru) partners. Our role in this project is to conduct research on vicuña genetic variability and conservation in the Andes.


Jane C. Wheeler studying 1,300 year old llama mummy from the site
of El Yaral, Moquegua, Peru.

The third project is financed by the Darwin Initiative of Great Britain and carried out jointly with the University of Cardiff, Wales. This project is a carryon of a previous Darwin project on vicuña genetics, but this time dealing with Peru’s highly endangered guanaco population.

As with the previous Darwin project, it is being carried out in collaboration with Dr. Michael W. Bruford. Dr. Ciara Dodd of Cardiff University holds the postdoctoral post and Jorge Rodriguez and Katherine Yaya (CONOPA) will have received extensive training both at Cardiff and in Peru before completion of the project. This month has seen the beginning of a new project designed to establish DNA parentage testing for Peru’s alpaca registry under a grant to the Peruvian Nuclear Energy Institute, Cayetano Heredia University and CONOPA from the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna.

CONOPA is also is actively involved in research in areas other than molecular
genetics. Among the projects in animal health are studies of vicuña reared in captivity
(Veronica Risco, CONOPA, and Luis Miguel Ortega Mora, Universidad Complutense de Madrid), enterotoxemia vaccine development (Raul Rosadio and Katherine Yaya, CONOPA), alpaca nutrition and fibre growth (Juan Olazabal, CONOPA, and Felipe San Martin, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, UNMSM) and accelerated reproduction in alpacas, (Rosa Davalos, CONOPA). Work also continues on the study of prehispanic camelids (Jane C. Wheeler, CONOPA) and the preparation of a primary school text book on the South American camelids is underway. In future issues of CQ, Jane C. Wheeler will be writing about the different research areas described above. Although not a registered US nonprofit organization, contributions to the research efforts of CONOPA are gratefully received.

 
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