Role: Wildlife Biologist, CLT Argentina
Year joined CLT: 2007
Hometown: Mercedes, Argentina
Main Area of Study: Anteater Reintroduction and Rehabilitation
Alicia Delgado (or Ali, as she is often called) was born in 1979 in Mercedes, near Iberá, and grew up on her family ranch. Since childhood she was influenced by her father who encouraged her curiosity about nature. These experiences sparked her interest in the natural world and prompted her to study Conservation Biology in Córdoba, where Alicia was attracted to applied work rather than to pure research. After finishing university studies she returned to Corrientes and soon had the opportunity to start working on an ambitious project that was just beginning—reintroducing the extirpated wildlife in Iberá. She knew she had found her place.
Once a part of the Conservation Land Trust team, Alicia began working for the pampas deer project in the Aguapey in 2007. Since then, she has conducted annual surveys that provide insight into the state of this rare deer in Corrientes, which inhabits private cattle estancias and forestry lands. During this task, Alicia and her assistants visit local ranches and talk with their owners and workers, to obtain and provide information about pampas deer ecology and conservation. Doing this work, which often involves days of traveling on dirt roads under the rain or heavy heat, is important for learning the status of the population, which serves as a source of animals to fund new populations inside Iberá Park.
In addition to this role, since 2009 Alicia has been responsible for the anteater rescue center and quarantine in the Biological Station located at Corrientes. There she is responsible for hand-rearing the orphan anteaters arriving each year. Alicia’s maternal instinct and her experience as a mother of two girls, together with her great interest in conservation and animal welfare, have been key for a center that has managed more than 90 anteaters over ten years. Alicia also decides the right time for the anteaters to be taken to their final destination in the Socorro or San Alonso reserves, where they are left under supervision of the management and monitoring team in the field. Something that comforts and excites her is to know that most of the rescued animals, in many cases saved from a sure death, have the opportunity to be rehabilitated and live freely in their natural environment.
The expertise that Alicia has acquired over the years makes her one of the most experienced conservation professionals in anteater management in South America. Along with these tasks, Alicia and her team are responsible for the care of other species that go through the quarantine facilities, including peccaries, tapirs, jaguars, and maned wolves. Upon returning home each evening, with an occasional scratch on her arms, Alice always has interesting stories to tell her daughters Isa and Ana, who share their mother’s affection for the animals from the Center.