|Adres Diavanera Tovar|
|Amphibian Community in the Chingaza Park, Preliminary Study of Conservation Status; Identification of Possible Threats; and Design of Management and Conservations Plans|
|Location: Cundinamarca, Colombia|
|Species: Amphibian Community|
|Abstract: Herpetological searches from 2003 to 2005 in Chingaza National Park, revealed a strong change in species composition. Some species previously recorded were absent, suggesting a possible amphibian decline. The methodology designed here is used first to continue searching for remnant populations of the Atelopus species and second for the inventory and structure of the amphibian community taking into account natural history observations. Obtaining presence/absence data for endangered species will be very useful in determining the real conservation status of Atelopus species. The presence of trout and climatic changes are both possible threats to amphibian populations; this data will allow analysis of the relationship between these threats. This project will help design a management plan for threats and conservation of endangered species. The presence of amphibian diseases will also be assessed.|
Project Update: March 2006
The project objective is to complete an amphibian inventory of Chingaza Park and create reports on three amphibian species in danger of extinction: Atelopus muisca, A. lozanoi and A. mandingues. Trips to various locations of the park have been made. With the localized ecosystem structure, some locations had very low or no population or individual Atelopus found.
An exciting discovery of a new species of the genus Eleutherodactylus was found. The team was unable to locate enough specimens to complete a description, but will make further attempts in the field. Chromatic patterns were recorded for all species; certain species had 15 different coloration patterns noted. Amphibian calls were also recorded as the morphometric and natural history data. Park climatic data was collected in hopes there is a link with the amphibian declination pattern.
A trout presence database was created. In preliminary data, it was found that in streams with high trout populations, no tadpoles were found. In the few streams where trout was absent, Hyla bogotensis tadpoles were found.
Workshops were conducted for park workers and government employees focused on amphibian conservation. Those who attended were taught how to identify and collect frogs and a trout population control plan was discussed with park officials.
Local fishermen were interviewed about the Atelopus species. Questions asked consisted of date and time of last sighting, habitat and weather conditions. No sightings have been reported.