domingo, 23 de octubre de 2011

Working with a model species

Sometimes to learn and to work with endangered species is risky, this is the reason that sometimes we preffer to work with model species, species that are not so threatened and more common. This is the reason that we took Telmatobius hintoni a frog that is relatively common in the city of Cochabamba, we are working with this species to find good methods to understand better the biology, behavior, reproduction and to learn how we can protect one threatened species in the future with better methods.
monithoring a population of Telmatobius hintoni

We are testing survey methods, estimating population size and biology among others, our student Ramiro is supporting us with this work and until now we found interesting things, some things that can be used with other species and others that don’t work. Also we want to improve our diets in the tadpoles of this species in captivity and finding some ways to work with different individuals and their development in captivity compared with individuals in the wild.
Using natural pattern dessign to identify our individuals
Marking tadpoles for studies

Once we know about different methods we can use it in this aquatic species that lives in streams, so we will be able to use all this knowledge to apply in the other 13 threatened species of Telmatobius that are present in Bolivia. We have been using this way to work with model species  in our captive breeding component and with good results and now we already have adult offspring of this species and in the near future of the other species we are working with.

Working with tadpoles and froglets in the  lab
One of our objectives is to obtain all this information and to make it accessible for the conservationists. This will be our next step, because we need more people with that knowledge and with the tools to work in amphibian conservation.

New members in the team

This last time we had changes in the Project, positive changes, and new people with a lot of enthusiasm and with the desire to work in research and amphibian conservation in Bolivia.

Oliver Quinteros, biologist with experience in taxonomy that will support us in the research component and with the amphibian collection work that the museum holds that will allow us to work with the new records of amphibians for Bolivia and even new species to science. This work will help us to know better our species and to understand them.

Ramiro Estrada, a student of biology that wants to carry out a study with Telmatobius hintoni (Vulnerable) with potential and desire to work with amphibians and support the Bolivian Amphibian Initiative.

Consuelo Morales, an enthusiast and promising student of biology, interested to work in conservation, recently involved in the Bolivian amphibian initiative after the high Andean amphibian conservation course. She wants to develop a study in the high lands of one are of Cochabamba with amphibian populations that are threatened and to see the impacts of some human activities in these species, Consuelo now is supporting the project.

Andrea Fuentes, student of environmental engineer, at this moment she is carrying out a internship with the project supporting us in several components like captive breeding, education and general aspects of the project, with a lot of potential and energy in the activities. Her work will help us to improve some aspects in the project and will train her to manage conservation projects.

Our new members join the team with Patricia and Nelzon, open for us the option to carry out more tasks, improve the work we are carrying out and bring us new energy for the amphibian conservation work in Bolivia, at the same way like Bolivian Amphibian Initiative we want to support to the people interested to work in conservation.
more information about our team

jueves, 20 de octubre de 2011

Improving our work in captive breeding

working with our frogs marking them to have better control

Due to past training experiences we came back with the objective to improve several of our activities within the project. This is the case of the captive breeding work, which we saw that several aspects could be improved.
In this sense, now we are working better with our captive frogs, in some cases treating them to improve their conditions to have better results. Aspects like nutrition, calcium balance, water quality, UV radiation and some environmental changes among others are reflecting better conditions of our frogs, aspect very important in the conservation work we want to develop.
A new model of Titicaca water frog in our exhibition
thanks to the Swedish exhibition project "Con Otros Ojos" 
Also we are improving our biosecurity levels that will allow us to have a better management and control of possible diseases of wild and captive amphibians.

Improving our biosecurity levels in the container
Improvements in our work can have a big impact in the captive amphibians we are holding and this thanks to the people and institutions like Durrell that is supporting us in this process of amphibian conservation. All these experiences we want to share with other countries that are working or want to work in captive breeding projects with Telmatobius; in this way to work faster with the species that need our help.
Working with live food
Team working in the facilities