For several years, amphibian populations have been declining dramatically. During decades, illegal armed groups have been degrading species' habitats in areas such as Bi-National Park TamÃ¡ (shared by Colombia and Venezuela) to plant crops such as coca and marijuana. Until recently it had been practically impossible to carry out conservation actions in these areas. However, now that these armed groups have vacated the area, it is the time to study and determine the status of those amphibian populations in these vast areas of forest.
This project aimed, through periodic samplings, to determine the status of amphibian populations and to define priority areas for conservation based on the identification of the frequency and impact of chytrid fungus and its relation to climate change. The information generated helped to develop, establish and implement appropriate conservation plans for amphibians through bi-national collaboration.
With the support of SOS - Save Our Species, this project, implemented through the Conservation Leadership Programme (CLP), focused on conservation areas and species infected by the chytrid fungus, determining the proportion of species infected by location. This allowed action to be taken in conjunction with local stakeholders, public and educational institutions.
February 12, 2013, while this project was completed in 2011, participating scientists have recently announced the discovery of two new species of salamander, Bolitoglossa leandrae and Bolitoglossa tamaense. New to science, the discovery of these small salamander species represents an exciting development for the project. More can be read in the associated news item published February 2013.