The End of an Era

After over 6 years of intensive research and community development work in and around the Yachana Reserve, GVI Amazon is coming to a close. We have finished our final research project (look forward to our Road Effects paper, coming soon!) and are handing over the project to our partner, The Yachana Foundation. They will continue to maintain and monitor the reserve, using it as an hands-on science education center for students -- we're very excited to see what fabulous things this next generation of scientists find! For more detail on GVI Amazon's closure, and our accomplishments over the years, please read on...
GVI Amazon Closure Statement

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Introducing a True Rarity...

The Yachana Reserve has within its borders a species of frog very infrequently encountered, not just in Ecuador, but in the whole Amazon Basin – Hyalinobatrachium iaspidiense. Only three years ago this frog was believed to be restricted to exceptionally localised areas in Venezuela and Guyana. Subsequently, it has been found in two locations in Ecuador. Once in the territory of Cofan-Dureno, Sucumbios and once in our very own reserve! It is now believed to be distributed throughout the Amazon basin.

This frog is a member of the Centrolenidae family, characterised by having an exceptionally thin, moist skin. So thin in fact, that on the frogs belly you can see its internal organs! Due to Centrolenid’s thin skin and narrow ecological requirements they are widely believed to be good indicators of good primary habitat. The Yachana Reserve supports at least five species of Centrolenid – fantastic diversity!

H.iaspidiense is one of my favourite frogs on this reserve. Why? Because when you look at its underside you can see its heart beating in its chest. A rare and magical sight! Unfortunately, this frog is so rarely encountered that directed research on its ecology is near impossible to perform. Consequently, very little is known about it. Hopefully, with our and other conservation organisations work, this rarity will be safe guarded from the damaging effects of habitat destruction and degradation for many years to come!

See this paper written by Susan North, (an ex-GVI Amazon staff member) for further details:

Christopher Beirne - GVI Amazon Base Manager (sadly just left for pastures new - thanks for all your hard work Chris - you will be missed!)