One Health in the highest plateaux of the Andes with Marka Cololo people, Bolivia

One Health in the highest plateaux of the Andes with Marka Cololo people, Bolivia

Communities of the Marka Cololo de Antaquila indigenous group live in the Apolobamba Nature Area, located in the highest plateaux of the Andes. The area is characterized by snow-capped peaks, meadows and valleys dominated by natural prairies, grasslands and peat bogs with an abundance of lakes and wetlands. It provides a refuge for the most important population of wild vicuñas in the country and for other Andean fauna including condor and spectacled bear.

The indigenous communities of the Marka Cololo de Antaquila group consider themselves to be part of the Puquina Colla people (Puquina was the secretive language used by the Incas) and they have retained many of their ancient traditions. Women’s livelihood is based on the traditional management of their herds of wild vicuñas and alpacas and commercial trade with inter-Andean valleys.


North-West Bolivia

Apolobamba Natural Area, Eastern Andes

Threatened Ecosystem and Wildlife

Mountains, peatlands, lakes and wetlands

Most important wild vicuñas population of Bolivia, Andean der, foxes, Andean condor, Andean flamingos

Local people Marka Cololo de Antaquila indigenous people whose livelihood relies on wild vicuñas

One Health Challenges

Malnutrition, loss of vicuñas / diseases & predation, no source of income, loss of environmental knowledge


  • Promote traditional weaving activities of vicuña wool as source of income
  • Improve domestic animal health & management
  • Promote traditional environmental knowledge & use of medicinal plants

The Challenge:

Women’s livelihood and health have been affected by the degradation of vital habitats resulting in the poor health and productivity of their camelids which are also increasingly killed by wildlife such as pumas, condors, spectacled bears and foxes.

Our Impact:

By supporting the production and marketing of women’s unique woven products and promoting the use of medicinal plants and the veterinary management of domestic animals, while also reducing human-wildlife conflict, we will improve women’s livelihood, wild and domestic animals’ health, and the health of this unique mountainous ecosystem

Our Partners

  • IUCN - International Union for Conservation of Nature
  • RVC - Royal Vetinary College University of London
  • WCS - Wildlife Conservation Society
  • ZSL
  • Annenberg Foundation
  • Conservation and Wildlife Fund
  • Foundation - Virbac
  • Network for the Evaluation of One Health
  • African bushcamps foundation
  • Cordio - east africa
  • European Union
  • Exeter University
  • Lion reserve
  • L Fremer
  • WildCRU - Wildlife Conservation Research Unit
  • Wild Programme - Wildlife in Livelihood Development
  • World Bank
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