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The continental and marine territories of Uruguay are characteriszed by a rich convergence of multiple biogeographic ecoregions of the Neotropics, making this country a peculiar biodiversity spot. However, despite the biological significance of Uruguay for the South American subcontinent, the distribution of biodiversity patterns in this country remain poorly understood given the severe gaps in available records of geographic species distributions. Currently, national biodiversity datasets are not openly available, and, thus, a dominant proportion of the primary biodiversity data produced by researchers and institutions across Uruguay remains highly dispersed and difficult to access for the wider scientific and environmental community. In this paper, we aim to fill this gap by developing the first comprehensive, open-access database of biodiversity records for Uruguay (Biodiversidata), which is the result of a large-scale collaboration involving experts working across the entire range of taxonomic diversity found in the country.
Biodiversity Data Journal, 2019

Data-sharing has become a key issue in modern science, with numerous advantages for both data collectors and user. However, the practice of sharing data in Uruguay is still uncommon given there are no primary biodiversity datasets open or publicly available. The reasons behind such low frequency of data availability are still unknown. This study explores through an online survey the vision of data collectors and users analysing the reasons for both the reluctance to share data and the motivations for doing so. Over-all, scientists are willing to share their research data if they receive adequate credit for their effort and knowledge. In order to translate the will into an effective practice of open science, we must work on the incentives and motivation structures behind, communicate the importance and benefits of data openness and exchange, and provide technical tools and training on all aspects of data management and sharing. Importantly, data-sharing practice must result in the reinforce of a scientific collaboration culture that benefits not only researchers at the individual level, but the progress of knowledge itself. This work represents a valuable initial approach to the subject that proofs the importance that data availability has for researchers in Uruguay and the need for it to be mostly discussed.
Boletín de La Sociedad Zoológica Del Uruguay, 2019

Rural Uruguay is undergoing a long process of transformations that tend to weaken the maintenance of local cultural traits, including society-nature relationships. To preserve these traits and enhance our understanding of these relationships, it is necessary to both strive for the empowering of rural communities and to establish a constructive exchange of knowledge. JULANA (an acronym from the Spanish for “Playing in Nature”) works towards these goals through the dialogue of the different conceptions of nature and society. This work presents an experience in collaborative-learning, the participatory monitoring project named Fogones de Fauna carried out in the village of Paso Centurión, along with reflections on the value of JULANA’s work and education.
Society & Animals. Special Issue: Tracking the Human-Wildlife-Conservation Nexus Across the Human-Animal Studies (HAS) Landscape, 2018

Strategies to evaluate and monitor elusive mammal species require the development of genetic techniques and their application to unambiguous biological material for ecological and genetic studies. In order to assess cytochrome c oxidase subunit II gene inter- and intraspecific variations, we compared sequences from different Neotropical canids and domestic dogs. We developed a primer pair to amplify a 154-bp fragment of this gene and a species-specific multiplex TaqMan™ assay for accurate identification of two native fox species occurring in sympatry in South America, the crab-eating fox (Cerdocyon thous) and the pampas fox (Lycalopex gymnocercus). The assays can also distinguish domestic dogs (Canis lupus familiaris) from both wild foxes. The use of different fluorescent reporter dyes for species identification in a multiplex probe PCR-RT assay reduces labor and costs. The methodology presented in this study demonstrates an efficient approach to enable high-performance analysis and represents a reliable cost-effective tool for molecular ecology research to monitor the wild canid populations by noninvasive genetic sampling. This standardized assay will allow large-scale high-throughput analyses in a routine and reliable way.
Mammal Research, 2017

We present the first record of a wild jaguarundi (Puma yagouaroundi) in Uruguay obtained as part of a participatory monitoring with trap-cameras together with the community of Paso Centurión, Cerro Largo.
Boletín de La Sociedad Zoológica Del Uruguay, 2016

We described a technique for detecting mammal species, based on the analysis of a control region fragment of mitochondrial DNA by establishing taxonomic identity from non-invasive samples. We detected a polymorphic fragment that varies in sequence and length within different mammalian species but maintains its identity among individuals of the same species. We amplified a single fragment in all the mammalian species tested from tissue samples and identified feces samples at species level. The use of a unique set of primers to assess the presence of different mammal species with non-invasive sampling allowed us to differentiate sequences from more than one species per environmental sample. Thus, it constitutes a powerful molecular tool for inventory and description of the mammal diversity distribution in natural areas.
Conservation Genetics Resources., 2014