The guanacos are difficult to see. Sometimes a specimen crosses our path in a route of Patagonia, but nevertheless, it is rare. Other times they can be seen climbing a steep mountain in a hurry as only they can. They don't go looking for any dam or other animal fleeing, but surely escape the presence of man.
Years of predation by sheep farmers and hunters made these friendly animals in the south became sullen.
Today they are in "Appendix 2" of the CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora), a level just before the extinction. Predation has left only small groups of guanacos in Río Negro and the rest of Patagonia.
To preserve the resource there are several reserves in the region. The most important is the Auca Mahuida, in the province of Neuquén, founded in 1996. There, they had managed to triple the population thanks to the constant inspections carried out by the keepers of the place. However, in recent months the hunters return to wreak havoc because of the vastness of the area.
Economically, the Commission on Sustainable Use of Guanaco, based in Los Menucos, seeking alternatives to use this resource without endangering the population of camels and disseminating the decisions taken in this regard. The board is composed of farmers, officials and INTA.
Thick snow in the south. Many animals have died. But the camel candy eyed and smiling mouth jerks white flakes still looking for their food. Survive. The guanaco has always lived in Patagonia. In fact, 90% of those who exist in the world are in southern Argentina. Therefore, knows and adapt as no one to the hardness of climate in these latitudes.
In family groups called herds move from one place to another in search of food: the grass. Always, the male and head of the group moves about 50 meters ahead of the rest, searching the entire area carefully for possible hazards.
Being a native of Patagonia is one of the factors that are weighing when to present it as an alternative to sheep.