Between February and April 2017, the CIWY research projects moved from WCC Ambue
Ari to WCC Jacj Cuisi to study the habitat preferences of the lowland tapir (Tapirus
terrestris) within the reserve, as well as the effects, if any, that the unique felid management
style utilised by CIWY has on the wild population of this endangered species.
Unlike other large-bodied neo-tropical ungulates such as white-lipped peccary (known as
seed-predators), tapirs ingest whole fruits, subsequently dispersing intact seeds up to 2km
from parent trees, thereby altering the composition of plant communities. Tapirs also play a
key role in the identification of forest mineral licks, and through high consumption of foliage
aid in the structuring of understory plant regeneration. Therefore, their removal from
ecosystems, or factors which potentially limit their rates of occupancy, may have a
disproportionate negative effect on ecological processes when compared to their abundance
or body mass.
Binary logistic regression and a weighted model averaging approach was used to analyse
tapir habitat preferences, estimating the impact and importance of several environmental
variables (distance to year round water sources [river], distance to agriculture [agri], distance
to roads [roads], and elevation [elevation]) as well as two managerially imposed variables
(distance to trails used for the ex-situ management of pumas [trail], and the number of
independent photographic events of managed pumas taken by each camera [pumas]), across
72 camera locations with WCC Jacj Cuisi. Cameras were either deployed on trails used for
the management of felids, or at distance increments of approximately 50m to 100m away
from perimeter trails. We also included duration of camera deployment [time] as a predictive
variable to ensure that the likelihood of observing tapirs was not significantly impacted by
how long each camera was active.
In total, 5040 logistic regression models were constructed to predict tapir detection/non-
detection as a function of these variables. The model elevation+river+trail+pumas was
found to best fit the data, reaching statistical significance (X
Nagelkerke R2=54.20%, 80.00% of all cases correctly classified), with both the variables
river and trail significantly affecting the likelihood of observing tapirs. Of the 5040 models
constructed, 11 met the criteria for being included in our model averaging approach.
Following this process, distance to year round water sources (river) was again found to have
a significant impact on the likelihood of observing tapirs (tapirs 1.65x less likely to be
observed for every 100m distance increase away from rivers, [95%CI=1.22-2.23]). However,
increasing distance to trails used for the management of felids (trails) was also found to have
a significant impact on the likelihood of observing tapirs (tapirs 11.02x more likely to be
observed for every 100m distance increase away from trails, [95%CI=1.34-90.02]). These
two variables were included in all 11 final candidate models, highlighting not only their
importance in determining tapir detection/non-detection within WCC Jacj Cuisi, but their
ability to predict tapir detection/non-detection within the reserve more reliably than variables
such as distance to roads or agriculture, factors normally found to impact tapir occupancy
This research demonstrates the conservation value of WCC Jacj Cuisi as a refuge for this
endangered species, and the observation of two juvenile tapirs during the survey period
highlights the continued importance of the land as safe-haven for breeding individuals away
from their main anthropogenic threats of hunting and habitat loss. However, this research also
underlines the potential negative conservation impacts resulting from the unique style of ex-
situ felid management that CIWY undertakes. If tapirs are excluded from, or less likely to
utilise certain areas due to the methods employed for felid management, there may be a risk
of potentially altering the composition of both plant and consumer communities within the
We as an organisation are currently exploring several potential options to mitigate or alleviate
these negative effects, so that without impacting the individuals cared for by the organisation,
we are able to better protect wild habitats and the incredible species resident to them such as
the lowland tapir, as well as strengthening CIWY’s position as one of Bolivia’s leading
New Howler Monkey Enclosure, Thanks to IPPL! The International Primate Protection League (IPPL) funded the construction of a new Howler Monkey Enclosure at Ambue Ari Sanctuary.
Current results and discussion from the research underway at Ambue Ari - VIII Bolivian Congress of Mastozoology and IV Latin American Congress of Mastozoology - La Paz 11.07.2018 Potentially unusual jaguar abundance within a 3.9km2 section of WCC Ambue Ari and the potential importance of surrounding landscapes to future jaguar conservation. Ollie Bartlett - Coordinator of Environmental Research
Socialization Programme for our Capuchin Monkeys News about our socialization programme at Machia
CIWY research projects An update on the progress of our research proyect in Ambue Ari
Working as a vet with CIWY Read more about Marta's experience as a vet at CIWY
My experience at CIWY Karen shares with us what she learned and lived while being at CIWY
Tejon Garden Update Check out how the construction of our Tejon garden goes
A new enclosure for Ivan Our tayra at Machia gets a new space
Back to Freedom The history of 7 boas
Artist in Residence 2017/18 Meet Silvia and her art
Calling all Artists interested in #conservation and #wildlife! Applications are now open to join our Artist in Residence programme in 2018.
News from Machia - November 2017 Snakes, Caimans and insects at WCC Machia
News from Jacj Cuisi - November 2017 Capitan's enclosure and our vegetable garden
News from Ambue Ari - October 2017 Information about our new squad member, the construction of the Tejon Garden and Maggie
News from the research project at WCC Jacj Cuisi Habitat preferences of the endangered lowland tapir (Tapirus terrestris)at WCC Jacj Cuisi.
CIWY is celebrating 25 years as an organization, with already 21 years in Machia. In Ambue Ari we have been working for the past 15 years and also in Jacj Cuisi it has been already 8 years now.
Research Project - Jacj Cuisi An update from our Research Project in Jacj Cuisi
News from Ambue Ari - Mayo 2017 News from our WCC Ambue Ari including saying goodbye to Sama, constructions on Leo's management cage and new members.
Come and join us at Pete the Monkey Festival! We are looking for 4 volunteers who have visited CIWY in the past to help us run a fun, awareness-raising, craft activity
Friends of Inti Wara Yassi (FIWY) is our sister organization in the UK. They have been a major source of support since their founding in 2008. Find out more about FIWY here.
Quest Overseas organizes gap year trips for British and international students. Since 2001, Quest has worked with CIWY to bring much needed volunteers and funds. If you are interested in the programs they have with us, find out more here.