and Areas of Focus
We are currently involved with improving management practices and alpaca production on local farms in the altiplano. 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.
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 the Department of Puno.
b. Projects with farmers include:
Improving breeding management through use of superior males with select females to produce new and improved breeding stock.Offspring are then used by the farmers as their production animals for the future.
Herd Improvement Project in Peru
1. 12 Nuñoa Project males are in work breeding females belonging to farmers from January through March of each year.
2. All animals and their offspring are tagged for identification and to track production.
3. Annual studies are conducted by Argentinian, Peruvian and US veterinarians and students.
4. We are encouraging farmers to use a record keeping system to monitor male and female production in order to make breeding management decisions.
5. In December and July of each year we conduct Ultrasound pregnancy examinations on all project females to evaluate success of NP males and offer suggestions for improvement of birthing rates for farmers.
We also discuss production and animal health problems with farmers to help them towards practical solutions.
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.”