Identidad Madidi BITÁCORA DE VIAJE

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For the last three days the ichthyologist team, Guido Miranda, Erick Loayza and Jorge Molina has been looking for signs of any native fish species, as well as sampling for aquatic invertebrate diversity in the rivers, streams and lakes of the Puina valley. Beyond introduced trout they had had no luck until they saw an Andean fox (Lycalopex culpaeus) a powerful symbol in Andean cultures who seemed to approve their choice of lake at more than 4500 meters above sea level. The lake revealed an unidentified species of Orestias fish. These small fish are native to the western Andes and should be absent here. Conversations with Puina elders revealed they too were introduced several years ago and are thriving – to our knowledge the first documented case of this genus taking hold on the eastern side of the Andes.

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