EDGE Community

María Copa MSc.
La Paz City, Bolivia.
  • EDGE Fellow Alumnus
[General description section]

María Eugenia Copa Alvaro completed her undergraduate degree at the “Major University of Saint Andrew” in La Paz-Bolivia and her Master’s degree at the “National Autonomous University of Mexico” in Mexico DF. I am currently a Consultant for General Direction Biodiversity and Protect Areas, where I am working to monitoring & manage wildlife in Bolivia particularly middle to large sized mammals.

My first research was on peccaries distribution in the Amazon and their management. From 2006 to 2007 I studied the impact of hurricanes on the population of the endangered pygmy raccoons from Cozumel Island, Mexico.

In 2009 I began the project “Chinchillas in Bolivia”. The purpose of this project is to find remaining populations of short-tailed chinchillas in Bolivian territory with the support of the EDGE of Existence programme.

The short-tailed chinchilla is highly prized for its fur; it was hunted without measured in the early 19th century. Since 1939 there have been no records indicating the presence of the short-tailed chinchilla in Bolivia. So I decided to make inquiries among the residents of the Bolivian highlands about any sightings of the species and where they think the species may still exist. Through consulting and sampling, I hope to find a remnant population of short-tailed chinchillas.

Colección Boliviana de Fauna

This project supports in-country EDGE Fellows to help conserve relevant EDGE species

Relevant species

Chinchillas have been pushed to the brink of extinction by overharvesting for their dense, silky fur which is among the most valuable in the world.

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Associated Blog Posts
6th Jul 12
Scientists have documented the presence of the short-tailed chinchilla (Chinchilla chinchilla) EDGE mammal number 53, in two new areas of the Atacama region ...  Read

20th Apr 12
  My name is María Copa Alvaro. I’m from Bolivia and I’ve been an EDGE Fellow studying the short-tailed chinchilla in Bolivia since early in 201...  Read

8th Mar 12
All around the world, women have long played a leading role in environmental protection and conservation. Among the earliest conservationists was Harriet Hem...  Read

[Image caption]
Here, I am interviewing a local lady about their knowledge of chinchillas in the area.