Daira Ximena Chavarro
- Project name: Conservation of Handley's slender mouse opossum: ecological monitoring and community outreach
- Project site: Valdivia and Yarumal, Colombia
- EDGE species: Handley’s Slender Mouse Opossum Marmosops handleyi
- Active: 2012 - 2014
Ximena holds a BSc in Biology from the Universidad Distrital, Bogotá and has a broad range of fieldwork experience including birds, amphibians and mammals. As part of a team that has recently formed the environmental NGO Fundación Conservación Verde, Ximena is keen to lead by example and establish successful conservation projects to protect Colombia’s many endemic species.
Ximena’s EDGE Fellowship aimed to improve existing knowledge of Handley’s slender mouse opossum and identify conservation needs. Her project objectives were to:
- Determine population size and distribution in Antioquia Department;
- Identify the species’ ecological preferences and behavioural patterns;
- Assess the relative impact of potential threats such as logging, conversion to agriculture, and prevalence of invasive species;
- Through capacity building at the local level, develop the infrastructure to implement long term conservation actions.
- Ximena attended a meeting with Corporacion Autonoma Regional de Antioquia (Corpoantioquia-Juan Lazaro) to discuss the goal, objectives and methodology used in the study
- She assisted with a mammal inventory in the Vereda (El Rosario and Corcovado), located in Yarumal – Antioquia in Colombia. Through a combination of field surveys and interviews, it was established that at least 12 mammal species are known to inhabit the area