Giovanni Alberto Chaves Portilla
The Golden Poison Frog of Supata Project: Implementation and Development of a Local Conservation Strategy of Amphibian Biodiversity in the Eastern Andes, Colombia
Children making the banners for an environmental parade in the 1st festival of the Supatá golden frog, demonstrating the active participation of young people in the process of raising awareness.
The Supatá golden frog, flagship species of this project, declared a natural heritage symbol of the Supatá municipality.
|Supatá Municipality, Cundinamarca Department||Colombia||Amphibians, Central and Latin America, Forests, Habitat||25 Jun 2009|
According to the Global Amphibian Assessment, Colombia is the second-highest country in amphibian diversity; however, 208 colombian amphibian species are now threatened due to different factors like the climate change, the emerging of infectious diseases and the loss of habitat. With regard to the latter, the current situation of the Andean forests is very worrying. It is estimated that about 70% of the original extent of these forests have disappeared or been transformed, creating a change in the landscape. For instance, the cloud forest is very fragmented by intense anthropogenic pressure and the places where the forest still remains are densely populated by human communities.
Supatá forests are been degraded in an alarming rate: from the 127.7 km2 of total area of the Supatá municipality, only 13% has forest cover that is equivalent to 18,28 km2, most of this area is the last habitat of several amphibian species in the region. In order to assure the conservation of these forest relicts is necessary to implement a local conservation strategy that lets to decrease the unsustainable use of the forest resources by the local community. In order to achieve this goal, we’ll develop environmental work with the community and promote the design of protected areas in the municipality. Equally, it is necessary to increase the local awareness about the importance of the people as key implementers in conservation actions. Therefore, we’ll lead conservational education (workshops, meetings, talks), local involvement (forest guardians, environmental workshops, sustainable management), and environmental policies (legislation, habitat management guidelines to reduce future loss of amphibian habitat).
The Supatá amphibian monitoring program will be an important resource to gather valuable information about different ecological and natural history aspects of the cloud forest relicts, which will allow a better understanding about the health of the amphibian population. Likewise, this program will generate the necessary base line for future conservation studies and the establishment of conservation priorities.
You can read about Giovanni's previous RSG project at http://www.ruffordsmallgrants.org/rsg/projects/giovanni_alberto_chaves_p... or for more information contact: