Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Race to halt global amphibian crisis boosted by rediscovery of endangered Colombian frogs

08.06.2006


New protected area proves timely in fight against fungus epidemic



The rediscovery of two frog species feared extinct has made a new Colombian protected area the focal point for efforts to save amphibians from a deadly fungus decimating their populations in Central and South America.

Scientists recently found the two Critically Endangered frogs – the Santa Marta harlequin frog (Atelopus laetissimus) and the San Lorenzo harlequin frog (Atelopus nahumae) – for the first time in 14 years in the El Dorado Nature Reserve established in March on the northwest slope of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta massif, on the Caribbean coast of Colombia.


The reserve is an important home for threatened species, and its protection was a top priority of the Alliance for Zero Extinction – a 62-member group of conservation organizations battling global extinctions. In March, alliance members Conservation International (CI) and American Bird Conservancy (ABC) helped Fundación ProAves of Colombia purchase the 1,600-acre site to protect it as a nature reserve.

Neither of the rediscovered frog species had the deadly fungal disease chytridiomycosis, raising hopes that the species can be saved in the new protected area or through captive breeding. The fungus has been found as close as 40 kilometers (25 miles) away on the other side of the Sierra Nevada mountains, and scientists will study the frogs to learn how they have avoided it.

"It’s a race against time to prevent chytridiomycosis from wiping out amphibian populations, but now we have discovered what appear to be healthy populations of these endangered species," said Claude Gascon, CI’s senior vice president for regional programs. "Creating the El Dorado Nature Reserve has given Colombia and the world a unique jewel that will prevent the extinction of threatened species of birds and frogs found nowhere else on the planet." El Dorado is the sole breeding ground of the Endangered Santa Marta Parakeet, and home to five threatened amphibians found nowhere else. The site also is a vital stopover point for declining neotropical migratory birds that breed in the United States and Canada, such as the Cerulean and Golden-winged Warblers.

Fundación ProAves staff at the reserve and Magdalena University researchers found the two rediscovered frog species while conducting research funded by the Darwin Initiative and the National Environmental Action Fund (FPAA).

"This rediscovery is a momentous leap of hope for saving species across the Andes," said Alonso Quevedo, the Fundación ProAves president and an active herpetologist. "The extinction crisis is wiping out so many important environmental indicator species, such as Atelopus frogs, before our very eyes, so this is a real boost for conservation efforts."

The Alliance for Zero Extinction (www.zeroextinction.org) issued a report in December 2005 that pinpointed 595 sites around the world containing the last significant habitat for one or more endangered species of mammal, bird, reptile, amphibian and plant. It listed the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta site as one of the most crucial to protect.

In late December, Fundación ProAves learned of the impending sale of plots from the site for construction of vacation homes. It alerted the Alliance for Zero Extinction, and in less than a month, ABC and CI had secured the funding necessary for Fundación ProAves to buy the entire site that now comprises the El Dorado Nature Reserve. Additional support for the reserve purchase was provided by more than a dozen donors, including the Jeniam Foundation, and Lynn and Stuart White. "These rediscoveries are particularly important as they represent species of frogs that are very sensitive to the disease and which were thought to possibly be extinct," said Paul Salaman of ABC. "Their rediscovery shows that there is hope to find healthy populations and protect them."

The Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta is the highest coastal mountain range in the world, rising from the shores of the Caribbean Sea to almost 19,000 feet. It contains extraordinary numbers of species found nowhere else across a multitude of isolated ecosystems. Protecting the new El Dorado Nature Reserve prevents destruction of valuable and rare biodiversity, and also ensures a clean water source for coastal towns that depend on two watersheds that have their sources at the site.

Paula Alvarado | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.conservation.org

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Successful calculation of human and natural influence on cloud formation
04.11.2016 | Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main

nachricht Invasive Insects Cost the World Billions Per Year
04.10.2016 | University of Adelaide

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

NTU scientists build new ultrasound device using 3-D printing technology

07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

The balancing act: An enzyme that links endocytosis to membrane recycling

07.12.2016 | Life Sciences

How to turn white fat brown

07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>