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A male darwin’s frog

It’s is always fun to find Dawin’s Frogs (Rhinodema darwinii) in the field. On amphibian surveys last year, we encountered this male with babies in his vocal sac.

Rhinoderma darwinii, November 2014, No1, LR-M

Rhinoderma darwinii, November 2014, No5, LR-M

Rhinoderma darwinii,  November 2014, No3, LR-M

 

admin in Uncategorized on June 12 2015 » 0 comments

Leeches leeches everywhere

Leeches are not uncommon encounters in the field.  Chile has both parasitic and non-parasitic terrestrial leeches.  One of the parasitic species is seen below feeding on a human.  One of the non-parasitic species (Americobdella valdiviana) is depicted below…this species eats earthworms.  They grow to nearly .3 meters in length (~ a foot in length).

Parasitic leech feeding on human leg, Coñaripe, Los Lagos, Chile, November 2014, No2, LR-M IMG_2966[1] IMG_2972[1]

admin in Uncategorized on April 20 2015 » 0 comments

More field work with the Mehuín Green Frog (Insuetophrynus acarpicus)

We devoted a considerable amount of our field time last year to surveying streams for the Mehuín Green Frog, Insuetophrynus acarpicus.  This species has suffered from habitat loss and is widely considered one of the most endangered frog species in the world.

Insuetophrynus acarpicus LR No2

Insuetophrynus acarpicus LR No3

Insuetophrynus acarpicus No1, LR-M

 

admin in Uncategorized on March 01 2015 » 0 comments

Amphibian survey at Oncol National Park, Los Rios, Chile

Late in 2014, our team performed an amphibian survey at Oncol National Park, Los Rios, Chile.  One of the amphibians encountered was this mature adult male Alsodes norae.  When males are ready to breed, they develop the spines on their chest that can be seen in one of the images below.  Their forearms also become larger and more robust.  These things presumably allow males to hold onto females in the prereproductive embrace known as “amplexus.”

Alsodes norae, mature male,  LR-M

Alsodes norae, mature male, No6, LR-M

admin in Uncategorized on February 02 2015 » 0 comments

An encounter with the Chilean Widemouth Frog (Calyptocephalella gayi)

On an amphibian survey in south Chile (November 2014), with Dr. José Nuñez and his graduate students, we encountered a breeding aggregation of the Chilean Widemouth Frog (Calyptocephalella gayi).  Their tadpoles are among the largest in the world.

 

Calyptocephalella gayi in-situ,  LR-M

Calyptocephalella gayi tadpole, LRCalyptocephalella gayi in-situ, November 2014, No4, LR-M

 

admin in Uncategorized on December 12 2014 » 0 comments

We were just featured in an online wildlife magazine from Italy!!

Please check it out here:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Anima-Mundi-Adventures-in-Wildlife-Photography/153627834692022

OR go to our “NEWS” section from the main page and download the PDF.

admin in Uncategorized on August 25 2014 » 1 comment

Wildlife encountered in Chile’s temperate rainforests

While we work in the field with endangered amphibians, we often get to see spectacular wildlife.  Here are some examples from recent field expeditions:

A giant terrestrial leech (Americobdella valdiviana) from Los Rios, Chile

A giant terrestrial leech (Americobdella valdiviana) from Los Rios, Chile

A beautiful Chilean "Daddy Long Legs" or opilionid

A beautiful Chilean “Daddy Long Legs” or opilionid

Chilean Opilionid, Valdivia Province, Chile

Chilean Opilionid, Valdivia Province, Chile

Another beautiful amphibian from Chile's rainforests (Eupsophus altor)

Another beautiful amphibian from Chile’s rainforests (Eupsophus altor)

A Red Forest Mite

A Red Forest Mite

A Chilean crayfish (Samastacus spinifrons) "in berry"

A Chilean crayfish (Samastacus spinifrons) “in berry”

A Chilean crayfish (Samastacus spinifrons) "in berry" - close up of the eggs beneath the female's tail

A Chilean crayfish (Samastacus spinifrons) “in berry” – close up of the eggs beneath the female’s tail

Tadpole (Telmatobufo australis)

Tadpole (Telmatobufo australis)

Tadpole (Telmatobufo australis)

Tadpole (Telmatobufo australis)

Darwin's Frog (Rhinoderma darwinii)

Darwin’s Frog (Rhinoderma darwinii)

More soon – planning more field work

admin in Uncategorized on March 10 2014 » 1 comment

A critically endangered frog from coastal Chile

There are am lot of amphibian species that are in decline in Chile.  One species that is widely recognized as critically endangered is the Mehuín Green Frog (Insuetophrynus acarpicus).  We work with a biologist, Dr. José J. Nuñez, to determine the current distribution of this species and if remaining populations have amphibian diseases.  Several key problems threaten this species: (1) Loss of habitat is the main issue.  Most of the coastal rainforest is gone. The few remaining tracts of forest where this species is found MUST be saved.  (2) Emergent infectious amphibian disease has been found in the area where these frogs still exist.  (3)  There are few conservation programs of any kind promoting captive assurance colonies of any amphibian species in Chile aside from Darwin’s Frogs -we are doing exactly that.

Unfortunately, much of the coastal forests have been removed for agriculture.

Unfortunately, much of the coastal forests have been removed for agriculture.

But there still are a few streams that accommodate this beautiful little frog (Insuetophrynus acarpicus)

But there still are a few streams that accommodate this beautiful little frog (Insuetophrynus acarpicus)

There are fewer than six known localities where this species can still be found.

There are fewer than six known localities where this species can still be found.

Drs. Fenolio (left) and Nunez (right) working in the field.

Drs. Fenolio (left) and Nuñez (right) working in the field with the Mehuín Green Frog (Insuetophrynus acarpicus).

More to come on this endangered species and our work with it.

admin in Uncategorized on December 10 2013 » 1 comment

Building a new amphibian conservation lab at the National Zoo of Chile

Our team was able to implement a new lab at the National Zoo of Chile in Santiago.  We made the lab from PMODS or “built on site” shipping containers.  Here is a photo documentary on the new labs going in…

SONY DSC

Trucks delivered the pods in the morning.

An entire crew unloaded the PMODS from the truck

An entire crew unloaded the PMODS from the truck

Forklifts were used to carry the PMODS up the narrow pathways of the zoo

Forklifts were used to carry the PMODS up the narrow pathways of the zoo

Steel platforms had been built for the pods to sit on

Steel platforms had been built for the pods to sit on

Fork lifts were used to nudge the PMODS onto their platforms.

Fork lifts were used to nudge the PMODS onto their platforms.

The base of the units were welded to the platforms

The base of the units were welded to the platforms

The roof of the PMOD is then lifted by fork lifts.

The roof of the PMOD is then lifted by fork lifts.

Corner supports are set in place.

Corner supports are set in place.

Walls are put up

Walls are put up

Starting to look like a lab!!

Starting to look like a lab!!

Electrical was installed inside.

Electrical was installed inside.

Lots of outlets for things like pumps, filters, lights...

Lots of outlets for things like pumps, filters, lights…

Holes were drilled for plumbing.

Holes were drilled for plumbing.

We avoided the use of anything that could rust and used plastics whenever we could.

We avoided the use of anything that could rust and used plastics whenever we could.

Installing an RO system for good water quality.

Installing an RO system for good water quality.

Part of the water filtration unit.

Part of the water filtration unit.

Aquariums were delivered.

Aquariums were delivered.

Shelves were assembled.

Shelves were assembled.

AC unit installation.

AC unit installation.

A work bench.

A work bench.

Storage cabinet.

Storage cabinet.

Aquariums placed onto stands.

Aquariums placed onto stands.

First room of the finished lab.

First room of the finished lab.

Second room of the finished lab

Second room of the finished lab

We have a new amphibian conservation lab at the National Zoo of Chile in Santiago!!  Thanks you to all of our many sponsors!!!!

We have a new amphibian conservation lab at the National Zoo of Chile in Santiago!! Thanks you to all of our many sponsors!!!!

admin in Uncategorized on February 22 2013 » 0 comments

A Critically Endangered Species Faces Tough Times

Our field work in 2011 took us to one of the last remaining haunts for Bullock’s False Toad (Telmatobufo bullocki).  This species has suffered from habitat loss and now is found in only a handful of localities.  It is also a difficult species to find.  Many hours can be spent looking through a forest patch to produce just one or two specimens.  We are establishing an assurance colony of this species at the National Zoo of Chile in Santiago.  The species is listed as the 5th most endangered amphibian on the planet by the UK’s “EDGE” program.

 

Here are some images from our field work with this amazing and critically endangered frog…

Dr. Fenolio holds up two Bullock’s False Toads (Telmatobufo bullocki) in the field.

This large female Bullock’s False Toad holds the promise of captive reproduction for the species and a step toward successfully establishing an assurance colony.

Bullock’s False Toad (Telmatobufo bullocki) has a great face!

A male Bullock’s False Toad (Telmatobufo bullocki).

 

admin in Uncategorized on April 26 2012 » 4 comments
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