Because the vicuna is the main prey of the puma, it is particularly important to determine how many newborns (in this case vicuna newborns) are killed by predators (in this case pumas) before newborns complete their first year of life.
This is important because the number of newborns that survived puma predation during their first year is, more or less, the number of potentially reproductive adults that are being added to the population of vicunas every year.
Knowing this allows biologists in charge of conserving or managing both large predators (wolves, bears, lions, jaguars, cheetahs and…of course pumas) and their large prey species** to predict the size of the population and to make decisions to enhance both species’ survival.** Scientists classify the camelids (vicunas, guanacos, llamas, alpacas, dromedary and Bactrian came) as Ungulates. This group also includes all species of deer, pigs, wild boars, cows, wildebeest, antelope, pronghorn, buffalo, moose, caribou, impala, domestic cattle, sheep, and goats.