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Brandeis University

Publication Date

Spring 2012

Program Name

Ecuador: Comparative Ecology and Conservation

Abstract

Tapichalaca Biological Reserve (RBT), located in Zamora Chinchipe Province in southern Ecuador, is a zone with high biodiversity and endemism. Although famous for the Jocotoco antpitta (Grallaria ridgelyi), the reserve is very rich in anphibians, especially frogs of the genus Pristimantis. RBT hosts at least 29 species of amphibians, including the new and endemic Hyloscirtust tapichalaca and 25 Pristimantis species (Meza-R. et al. 2008). RBT faces various threats, such as climate change, farms, and the exploitation of palm trees. One pertinent threat is Eje Vial N°4, a main road that passes through the reserve. This study investigated the diversity and abundance of amphibian species in 4 roadside sites before a major construction project in May of 2012. A total of 9 species and 41 organisms of herpetofauna (8 amphibian species and 1 reptile species) were found throughout 125 hours of surveys. 32 specimens were relocated to a more protected section of RBT and 8 specimens were taken to the Ecuadorian Museum of Natural Sciences (MECN) for preservation. Potential limiting factors in this study were climate, the abilities of the investigators, and the sites themselves.

Disciplines

Environmental Health | Environmental Health and Protection | Environmental Indicators and Impact Assessment | Environmental Monitoring