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Acta Biológica Colombiana

Print version ISSN 0120-548X

Abstract

VILLALOBOS, SORAYA; VARGAS, ORLANDO  and  MELO, SANDRA. Usage, Managment and Conservation of “yosú”, Stenocereus griseus (Cactaceae), in the Upper Guajira, Colombia. Acta biol.Colomb. [online]. 2007, vol.12, n.1, pp.99-112. ISSN 0120-548X.

The present paper characterizes the usage and handling system, demand and potential offer of Stenocereus griseus, a columnar cactus widely used by the “Wayúu”, an indigenous community in the Colombian Caribbean region of “ La Guajira ”. The current use of S. griseus is restricted to the collection of dry timber wood (“yotojoro”) for house building; of the fruit, which is used for human consumption; and of the young stems, used as goat fodder, and as living fences. An evaluation of the factors that affect the populations allowed the detection of five different harm categories: those caused by cuttings with cutlass (type I); by insects (type II); goats (type III); birds (type IV); and wind (type V). The annual “yotojoro” demand is subject to the building needs of the people in the area, which is defined as occasional. The current cropping and extraction method was not found to be causing any local disequilibrium in the species population maintenance. There is a steady cardon demand for fodder and living fences all year long; one which is causing the highest harm impact. Finally, the main conservation problems of the species are discussed, together with the suggestion of management alternatives for grazing activities.

Keywords : Cactaceae; conservation; Colombian Caribbean; Guajira; Wayúu.

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