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Phyllomedusa tomopterna

Dendropsophus rhodopeplus

GVI Amazon Monthly Achievement Report July 2012

Saving a Swamp?
Swamps provide a unique habitat for many species of anurans (frogs). Within the Yachana reserve there are two swamps (one alongside the gravel road and one in the forest) which contain several species of anurans found nowhere else in the reserve: Dendropsophus rhodopeplus, Dendropsophus sarayacuenis, Scinax ruber and Dendropsophus bifurcus, the latter only being found on the roadside swamp.

Unfortunately, the roadside swamp is very likely to be destroyed when the road through the reserve is widened and asphalted, as planned by the local government in the region. In an effort to combat this, we, the volunteers and staff at GVI Amazon, have recently constructed a man-made swamp at GVI base camp, with the hopes of attracting and providing a more protected habitat for some of the rarer species of anurans that reside in the roadside swamp, specifically Dendropsophus bifurcus.

The newly constructed swamp has taken five months to develop into a suitable habitat for anurans; the first step was to dig out the area and lay down a tarp for water retention; then banks were constructed and plants collected from the roadside swamp; finally, we placed logs (with small bromeliad plants attached excellent frog habitat!) and rocks in the swamp and scattered leaf litter to create a humus layer. All this was done with a view to creating a complex habitat mosaic that would combine deep and shallow water, plants, stones, light , and shade.

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Completed swamp at GVI base camp

In the past month the anuran activity has been very apparent, with Phyllomedusa tomopterna a gorgeous tree frog heard and seen on several occasions (previously this species has been found only near our compost area on base), as well as numerous tadpoles, and the first sighting of a Dendropsophus rhodopeplus one of the key species we had hoped to protect! Were very eager to see what other species are drawn to the new swamp habitat over time, and pleased to find that this new, more protected habitat is proving to be a suitable one where anurans may thrive when other swamps in the reserve are gone.