A new population of the Critically Endangered glass frog (Centrolene heloderma) has been discovered in the cloud forests of the Pichincha Province of Ecuador.
Unfortunately the population is located just metres away from one of Ecuador’s two major oil pipelines and government safety rules mean that constant cutting and clearing is required around the pipeline. In order to ensure that the habitat of C. heloderma is not unnecessarily disturbed, this job is now performed by staff from Reserva Las Gralarias, one of the partners involved in the SOS-funded project aimed at improving the critical habitat of this and eight other species of globally-threatened amphibians and to monitor their populations.
Before the project began, the glass frog was known from just one stream within the study site – Reserva Las Gralarias. After three months of monitoring, a team from SOS grantee Universidad Tecnológica de Indoamérica (UTI) identified a new population in another stream and later confirmed that the species is reproducing in this area. Information that the team is collecting will help understand the population dynamics of the species, its potential threats and help guide action to conserve it. The staff at Las Gralarias will be monitoring the area even more carefully for spills. Further efforts are under way to find new populations and restore riverside habitats that may be used by this species. All in all this is a great conclusion to the frog monitoring work that can only take place in the rainy season.
This story also appeared in the IUCN blog.