Date of this Version
Great Plains Research 20 (Spring 2010): 37-50
Cattle ranching in Latin America supports wildlife conservation. Ranching probably represents one of the few land uses in which we can advance conservation goals. The approximately 950,000 km2 of Bolivian, Brazilian, Paraguayan, Colombian, and Venezuelan savannas that are privately owned and dedicated to meat production provide a model for conservation programs. We present a geographic and historical description that covers several centuries and ends with descriptions of seven successful cattle ranches (three in the Venezuelan Llanos and four in the Brazilian Pantanal) where cattle ranching, ecotourism, and wildlife conservation coexist. These three activities support each other: tourism creates additional income for cattle ranchers while promoting protection of natural heritage and wildlife research.