Léopold a frenchy biology student and Elana an American biology graduate are welcoming you on our project summary. Please take the time to read it. If you are interested at the end of this summary we are searching for field help.
|Leopold and Gabriel (research coordinator) during the fieldwork in search of t. simonsi|
The project here is to focus on the conservation of an endemic species Telmatobius Simonsi. The genus Telmatobius occurs in three different types of habitats: the highlands (puna and altiplano), the temperate inter-Andean valleys, and the wet paramo: all high, tropical, mountain vegetation above the continuous timberline (De la Riva, 2005). This genus has 14 species in Bolivia, 10 of which are endemic. Forest species of the Andean genus Telmatobius have disappeared from known sites and some other Andean taxa have declined severely (De la Riva and Burrowes, 2011).
T.simonsi is endemic to the Bolivian Andes, where it has been recorded from the departments of Chuquisaca, Cochabamba and Santa Cruz , from 1,000-4000m (Köhler 2000a).
The goal of this assessment is to evaluate the conservation status of Telmatobius Simonsi. This will be obtained through different assessments in different areas of its original distribution across Bolivia. This will rovide information on range, ecological requirements and abundance among others. These data are absolutely crucial to allow the Bolivian conservation community to assess the current conservation status, develop and initiate realistic conservation measures that will help the conservation of the species.
|Elana together with Gabriel carrying out stomach flushing in the field|
For my project, I am looking at the stomach contents of Telmatobius simonsi and Telmatobius gigas and comparing them to the availability of prey in the areas where the individuals are found. By comparing what is found in the stomachs and what is found in the water, we can see what the frogs are choosing to eat from the surrounding environment.
This will be important for understanding how these species play a role in the food web and potentially how their populations will be impacted by future habitat change or loss. Since both species are listed on the IUCN Red List, this study can also help captive breeding populations better understand the nutrition required for these species.
I will be examining stomach contents by stomach flushing; this involves using a syringe to push water through a tube down to the frog’s stomach, making the individuals expel their stomach contents. This is a non-lethal way to examine stomach contents and has been found to show similar results to stomach dissection. I will be examining prey availability by using dip-nets in the water to catch the macroinvertebrates that can be found in the areas the frogs are found.
|Stomach flushingt to study the foraging strategies of the species|