Mammals of Iberá
Esteros del Ibera
The Iberá natural reserve is a protected area of some 13,000km2 in the province of Corrientes in NE Argentina. The area consists of swamps, bogs, lakes, floating islands, lagoons, streams and a certain amount of grassland which hosts a wide variety of mammals. There are also small to medium sized woods dotted around the natural reserve in which live the Black Howler Monkeys.
The Pampas deer is critically endangered in Argentina due it it being hunted to near extinction before it became protected. These mammals tend to live in the drier areas of Iberá, often alongside cattle.
The Marsh Deer is locally relatively common in the Ibera basin and we expect to see at least one per day at the Reserve.
The Giant Anteater has been extant from the area since the 1970s but has recently been re-introduced by 'Conservation Land Trust' who run other similar projects. The marshes are riddled with anthills and termite hills making this area very attractive to these mammals. It is however on the southern limit for this species and they can be adversely affected by cold winters here.
There are at least 16 species of bat here, of which we have managed to mist net and examine 14. Bat research has been our main project since 2016 and we have a regular team of 4 that carry out research in Corrientes and now also Misiones. We now have hundreds hours of bat recordings from the reserve as well as recordings of bats on release. We are making our own Argentine bat call library as there is no official one in the country.
There are many nocturnal species here including two species of fox, the Crab-eating Racoon, Geoffroy's Cat, Plains Vizcacha, Skunk, two species of Opossum, Maned Wolf, three species of Armadillo and of course the bats. Then Maned Wolf has been seen on several occasions around our reserve and frequently heard calling at night. However it prefers drier conditions so when we are back to being a wetland as we have been since 2014 it moves away. However it was heard calling in September 2015 so we are keeping an eye out for footprints and droppings.
The images that follow are mammals that are found at Reserva Don Luis and the surrounding area. For example we do not have any Opossums mainly because our woodlands are small and isolated. We have never seen a Jaguarundi nor a Hare and we only have 2 species of Armadillo.