[Joel]- So we’re working off
of the Patagonia Ice Fields. The Patagonia Ice Fields
are one of the two largest sub polarized fields in the world. Working on an endangered species. The most endangered deer
in either of the Americas it’s this really bizarre animal. It’s called a huemul. If you can imagine, and most
people can’t, and I would not, a cross between a kangaroo
and a mountain goat in a deer body. And that’s what this looks like. This is our second field season of about 2,000 animals. That would mean polar bears
are 15 times more abundant. The world knows polar bears,
it’s like, what’s a huemul? We’re just trying to get a
better handle on where they occur, whether they are
doing better in and around cold areas near ice. Most of the glaciers in South
America are in rapid retreat. We’re trying to understand
the importance of ice and cold to these mammals that live
in the shadows of glaciers and have for 10,000 years. So at a different point in my life my hair was dark and I used to work on charismatic species. I used to work on bison. We used to work with some of the different African governments working with rhinos and rhino conservation. But as I’ve gotten older and realized that some
of these other species were a little bit farther
from the public realm. To me these are silent
species not on the radar. And yet many of them play important roles. Many are charismatic in their own right. And they’re deserving of attention. Maybe there’s a way to
make a difference and pull these species and raise the bar on them. The challenges of course are immense but we have people who care and they care about the natural world. They care about animals. And that gives me hope.

Huemul Deer : CSU professor’s study of the most endangered deer in the Americas

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