domingo, 2 de diciembre de 2012

in search of the frogs

Searching frogs in the mountains


Time to go out to the field and to see how the amphibian populations are going, this time we are crossing almost all the country visiting the different sites in five departments of Bolivia, Cochabamba, Oruro, Potosi, Chuquisaca and La Paz. We are trying to find the different populations, to obtain samples of water quality, chytrid swabs, UV readings and to try to find some extra populations mainly of threatened amphibian species of the genus Telmatobius.


Obtaining water quality information


For this we are visiting to de different sites with our team searching frogs in different sites, but unfortunately several places were before were very common or it was a record of some species, we are not finding frogs anymore, this is the case of Telmatobius yuracare, one species that before was very common, but not anymore. Now several streams are empty, no more frogs, we try to think what the reason is and a lot of new questions come out. 

Taking Chytrid samples

In one of the sites, we had again the comment of the local people telling us that the amphibians went to the war, like we heard before in other are some time ago http://bolivianamphibianinitiative.blogspot.be/2011/04/did-chytrid-fungus-arrived-here.html when they told us that the frogs went to the war and since then they died a lot of frogs and that they found a lot of dead frogs in the streams… probably this situation is related with the arrival of chytrid to the area and it is interesting to see what was the reason and when exactly. Another common thing in these sites was the presence of an exotic species; the trout that now is present in all these streams and probably also has an effect in the Andean amphibian populations like had in other areas.


Hypsiboas a tree frog of the Andes

After several places with no frogs we moved to other areas and it was less frustrating to be able to see our frogs doing it well, some adults, tadpoles in different stages and relatively common, this is giving us a hope, but also telling us that we still having the change to try to understand what is really happening with amphibian populations that are decreasing and this is what we are trying to do. Now we still having some other places to visit and we hope we are going to find more frogs, frogs that tell us how our environment is going. 

An individual of Telmatobius and its habitat

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