Have you ever wondered how the IUCN collects all of the data needed to put together a species distribution map? Personally, I have pondered this very subject and always considered the process to be an incredibly daunting task. In the latest adventures of Save the Giants, we traveled to Peru to attend the first International Symposium for Giant Otter Conservation and had the opportunity to participate in the “re-mapping” process for giant otters…exciting! Representatives from 6 of the 9 current GO range countries (Guyana, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Brazil ) AND Argentina (a country where giants are considered extinct came to the table with an incredible new plan to re-intro populations!) attended the symposium and over the course of 3 days we came together to literally piece together the data to create an accurate projection of the current giant otter range. Data from Suriname and French Guiana is still being collected. We can now use the new data to make important conservation action recommendations to the IUCN and other influential NGOs, as well as local governments within each country.
The “re-mapping” process was intense and at times extremely complicated. No worries though! In the diagram below, you will find a detailed outline of the steps taken to recreate the range map. If you have further questions, please reach out to us! As always, thank you for your support!