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Davidson College

Publication Date

Fall 2019

Program Name

Ecuador: Comparative Ecology and Conservation


We conducted 60 hours of visual encounter surveys and 3 hours of calling surveys on 6 different habitat types near Sumak Kawsay in situ Reserva (SKIS) near Mera, Pastaza, Ecuador. We defined habitat types defined by two variables: type of forest and proximity to water. The aim of the study was to determine what effect each variable has on anuran community composition. We compared the effectiveness of the two survey methods as well. High anuran community dissimilarity was found between each habitat type surveyed, indicating that both forest type and proximity to water are important factors that shape species richness and relative abundance of anurans. We analyzed habitat characteristics and species life histories in order to determine the mechanisms for differences in frog communities among the habitats. We identify 3 habitat types as priorities for conservation based on high uniqueness: Primary dry, Primary wet, and Cultivated wet. As a supplement, vegetation preferences of frogs in the genera Dendropsophus were analyzed, and we found that they preferentially utilize broad leaf plants instead of cultivated grass as perching habitat. We also establish elevation records for 5 different species.


Animal Studies | Environmental Monitoring | Forest Biology | Fresh Water Studies | Latin American Studies | Population Biology | Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecology | Zoology


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