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Tupinambis Management Manual

CABI & Wildlife Conservation Society, Bolivia (2009)
Authors: Rosa Leny Cuéllar & Alejandro Arambiza

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Tupinambis

The Red Tegu Lizard (Tupinambis rufescens) is large and ruddy coloured and is a native of the Chaco dry forest of southern Bolivia.

Much prized by local inhabitants for its hide, which fetches a good price in cities, it has become the object of one of many management projects initiated in the area. Working together to design and implement a management plan regulating hunting of the lizards, both local hunters and conservationists want to make sure lizard populations are kept healthy.

I created the cartoons on this page to include in the management plan.

Tegu lizard in hammock

The Tegu lizards are studied for their activity patterns

tegu lizard hunter

Note the swollen cheek of the hunter. This is not a toothache, but rather a large wad of coca leaves stuffed in his inner cheek. No self-respecting hunter in Bolivia can do without.

Tegu lizard tracks

One of the methods used to estimate Tegu population density is to record their tracks

Tegu Lizard and dog
Tegu Lizard calendar
tegu lizard hunting ban
They're gonna manage you

The law says that Tupinambis hunting is restricted to certain months only... but in practice the law is rarely respected. Conservationists work with local hunters to establish management plans for the Tegu lizard. The idea is to make sure the population doesn't disappear.

management plan

According to the management plan, only a limited number of individuals are allowed to be hunted each year

vet

The management plan urges all captured inviduals to be weighed, measured, and asessed for general health.

measuring

What the Tegu lizards themselves make of all this is of course anyone's guess

bump

Hunters often use a catapult to hunt the lizards, so as to not damage the valuable hide.

dinero

The management plan aims to stop illegal dealings in Tupinambis hides

By the tree

This hunter has worked very hard and is having a well-earned drink of chicha (local corn drink) under a typical Toborochi tree.

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