Project properties

Title What are the effects of grazing and burning on the vegetation and an endemic macaw in a Bolivian savanna?
Group Forest Ecology and Forest Management Group
Project type thesis
Credits 36
Supervisor(s) FEM group: Lourens Poorter
Other organisation: Tjalle Boorsma (Asociaci�n Civil Armon�a)
Examiner(s) Prof.Dr. F.J.J.M (Frans) Bongers
Contact info lourens.poorter@wur.nl
http://www.wageningenur.nl/en/Persons/dr.ir.-L-Lourens-Poorter-1.htm
Begin date 2018/03/01
End date
Description The Blue-throated Macaw (Ara glaucogularis) is an endemic and endangered bird species. It inhabits palm forest islands that are scattered over the savanna in Beni, Bolivia. The savannas of Beni are inundated each year, and these palm �islands� occur at places that are topographically a little higher. Centuries of intense cattle ranching, deforestation and burning has affected the savanna of northern Bolivia. To protect this ecosystem, its biodiversity and the macaw we need to understand what savanna conditions provide the highest biodiversity, palm and macaw abundances possible. There are a lot of conflicting views on the effects of cattle grazing and associated management practices, such as burning. Do they threaten the stability of the savanna ecosystem or not? What plant and animal species are affected by grazing and burning? Is it better to have a homogenous savanna of old age, or a mosaic of grass patches in different development stages? These questions can be addressed by using a �natural expriment�. In 2012 and 2014 several parts of the Barba Azul Nature Reserve have been burnt by fires created by surrounding farms, creating a variety of savanna age-classes. Are you interested in an adventurous thesis project in the middle of nowhere where horses are the means of transportation in an amazing ecosystem filled with wildlife, than get in contact with us.


Biodiversity and functional diversity/ Plant-animal interactions/ Population and forest dynamics/ Forest restoration and succession / America's/ Tropical zone
Used skills SPSS or other statistical packages
Requirements FEM-30306 Forest Ecology and Forest Management; REG-31806 Ecological Methods I;