and Areas of Focus

Veterinary Support
in Peru

With support from the local animal health officials and mayor we are currently involved with improving management practices and alpaca production on local farms. This assistance includes improving disease prevention through vaccination, improving animal birthing rates through selection of top quality breeding males, and improving wool production and quality with evaluation of annual production rates. The program is designed to spread to several other farms in Nuñoa as they are selected by local officials.


North American Camelid Studies Program

Providing educational and research oportunities along with training for students, farmers and veterinarians through the North American Camelid Studies Program in the US and through the Nunoa Project work in Peru.

Institute of Camelid Research and Development www.conopa.org

CONOPA is a Peruvian non-profit organization dedicated to scientific research and extension in South American camelids. The general objectives of CONOPA are sustainable development, preservation of the ecosystem, and biodiversity of wild and domestic camelids to achieve the eradication of poverty that afflicts traditional breeders.

Current Collaboration between Nuñoa Project and CONOPA:

1. Nuñoa Project Alpaca Herd Improvement Program

a. US and South American students and veterinarians are working in Nunoa with local animal health officials.

b. Projects with farmers in Nuñoa include:

i. Improving breeding management through use of superior males with select females to produce new and improved breeding stock

ii. Monitoring of reproductive behavior and semen parameters in Nunoa Project males.

iii. Cria growth rate study

iv. Gastrointestinal parasite study

v. Cria mortality study investigating cause of death in neonates due to pneumonia and intestinal infections

Herd Improvement Project in Peru

1. 14 Nuñoa Project males are in work breeding 290 females belonging to Nuñoa farmers from January through March of each year.

2. All animals and their offspring are tagged and microchipped for identification and to track production.

3. Annual studies are conducted by Argentinian, Peruvian and US veterinarians and students:

a. Semen Evaluation Study- sample females after each male breeding 2 days in a row immediately after introduction of males and periodically during January through March on participating farms. Nunoa municipality workers and farmers will be taught semen analysis during a workshop conducted by Nuñoa Project veterinarians in January 2014.

b. Cria Birth Weight and Growth Rate Study- herd improvement project crias over 4 months.

c. Cria Birth Rate Study-tracking production of Nuñoa Project males each birthing season.

d. Cria Mortality Study- information is collected January through March, including numbers of deaths and causes. CONOPA (www.conopa.org) teaches and supervises students (2 Americans and 2 Peruvians) Respiratory and intestinal tract samples are analyzed at San Marcos University in Lima for identification of causative agents.

e. Fecal Examinations for Gastrointestinal Parasites-to establish baseline and ongoing data on selected farms. The municipality workers are interested in learning how to do this in their lab.

f. Breeding Behavior Study- during breeding season·for NP males and the project females.

g. Record Keeping- Start participating farmers on a record keeping system to monitor male and female production in order to make breeding management decisions.

4. July of each year Ultrasound pregnancy examinations on all project females to evaluate success of NP males.

Humanistic Support

Having worked as anthropological researchers in the Nuñoa area for five decades on problems of human health and agriculture we have a familiarity with the challenges people face in their daily lives as well as their proud traditions and knowledge systems. Our humanistic goals are to facilitate projects that people in town and rural communities identify as important but have limited resources to accomplish. Furthermore, we are prepared to address urgent needs as they arise in this harsh and unpredictable land where both the environment and economy frequently produce unexpected hardship.

Past studies have indicated that approximately a third of the population is living marginally, and single women headed households and the elderly are particularly vulnerable. Our recent work has sponsored wheelchair donations to handicapped adults and children, blanket distribution to a high and remote rural community exposed to the exceptionally cold weather of recent years, and the support of a yarn spinning micro-industry started by local women. This last project links our overall mission of “Helping People and Camelids of the Peruvian Altiplano.”