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Print version ISSN 0073-3407On-line version ISSN 1850-4884


BORGHI, Carlos E; HERNANDEZ, Jorge  and  CAMPOS, Claudia M. Recognition and uses of rhea tarapacensis by residents in the catchment area of the San Guillermo Biosphere Reserve (San Juan, Argentina). Hornero [online]. 2017, vol.32, n.1, pp.19-28. ISSN 0073-3407.

Rhea tarapacensis is a threatened species ecologically extinct in part of its distribution range. It is one of the species most used in traditional medicine in the vicinity of the San Guillermo Biosphere Reserve (San Juan, Argentina), and its recognition by residents, the common names it receives and other historical and current uses still remain to be assessed. This study was carried out at four locations close to the reserve. A total of 171 semi-structured interviews were conducted with residents of both sexes, older than age 15, who have different activities and educational levels. Ninety five percent of the people recognized Rhea tarapacensis, which is locally called Avestruz, Chure, Churi or Ñandú. Contributors mentioned a strong historical use of its meat and feathers, and a lower but still important current use. Men, people between 31-45 years old and the residents of Tudcum were the ones who mentioned more historical and current uses of this species. Sixty percent of men claimed to have sighted Rhea tarapacensis over the past year. Considering the uses for obtaining meat and feathers and the recognized medicinal uses, the hunting pressure on Rhea tarapacensis could not be properly considered in the current evaluation of its conservation status. This makes necessary a continuous monitoring of the species in the region, including the protected area, accompanied by the implementation of programs of education and sustainable use directed to the residents, targeted at its conservation.

Keywords : Common name; Current use; Ethno-ornitology; Historical use; Rural residents; Species recognition.

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