Amphibian Diversity from the Serranía de los Paraguas Phase II: Integrating Research, Monitoring, and Public Awareness on Behalf of Hotspot Conservation

Jhon Jairo Ospina Sarria

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29 Apr 2019

Amphibian Diversity from the Serranía De Los Paraguas: Status, Trends, and Conservation Needs

The decline of amphibian species is a well-documented phenomenon first recognized in the early 1990s and has been associated with habitat destruction, climate change, and emerging diseases. While amphibians are declining, the real significance of the rapid decline lies in what this means, an accelerated collapse of the global ecosystem.

Pristimantis kelephus - IUCN category = Critically Endangered. © Fundacio╠ün Calima

Pristimantis kelephus - IUCN category = Critically Endangered. © Fundacio╠ün Calima

In the first phase of this project, we collected data on the status, trends, and conservation needs of the amphibians from the Serranía de los Paraguas. Our findings demonstrated that this mountainous region is the home of 63 amphibian species, of which 10 are endemic and 21 threatened (11 CR, 6 EN, and 4 VU). The gathered evidence also showed that this diversity seems to be decreasing. On this basis, for the second phase, we aim to cover the identified conservation needs by integrating scientific research with conservation purposes, continuous monitoring, and public awareness to promote amphibian conservation of this hotspot.

Our project fits into a growing initiative in global conservation strategies that promotes field studies focused on monitoring the causes of decline in amphibian communities. The rationale behind this initiative is that, although it is recognized that amphibian species are in critical condition since population declines are taking place throughout their geographical range, information on the extinction risk and its direct causes is lacking.

Following this line of thought, we intend to create an enabling environment that paves the way for a mid- and long-term sustainability through research for conservation purposes and a broad participation of stakeholders at national and international level that may potentially contribute to amphibian conservation in the Serranía de los Paraguas. Finally, and considering that in many respects the conservation is local, that is, people generally care more about the biodiversity in the place in which they live, we plan to continue engaging young Colombian researchers in this project. Thus, we hope to ensure knowledge and skills transfer and make the monitoring of The Serranía de los Paraguas an ongoing process.

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