domingo, 23 de octubre de 2011

Working with a model species

Sometimes to learn and to work with endangered species is risky, this is the reason that sometimes we preffer to work with model species, species that are not so threatened and more common. This is the reason that we took Telmatobius hintoni a frog that is relatively common in the city of Cochabamba, we are working with this species to find good methods to understand better the biology, behavior, reproduction and to learn how we can protect one threatened species in the future with better methods.
monithoring a population of Telmatobius hintoni

We are testing survey methods, estimating population size and biology among others, our student Ramiro is supporting us with this work and until now we found interesting things, some things that can be used with other species and others that don’t work. Also we want to improve our diets in the tadpoles of this species in captivity and finding some ways to work with different individuals and their development in captivity compared with individuals in the wild.
Using natural pattern dessign to identify our individuals
Marking tadpoles for studies

Once we know about different methods we can use it in this aquatic species that lives in streams, so we will be able to use all this knowledge to apply in the other 13 threatened species of Telmatobius that are present in Bolivia. We have been using this way to work with model species  in our captive breeding component and with good results and now we already have adult offspring of this species and in the near future of the other species we are working with.

Working with tadpoles and froglets in the  lab
One of our objectives is to obtain all this information and to make it accessible for the conservationists. This will be our next step, because we need more people with that knowledge and with the tools to work in amphibian conservation.

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