Monthly  Achievement  Report     03  June  2012   Ecuador  -­‐  Amazon  Hub   Case  study:    Rare  &  New  Species   While  current

 research  at  GVI  Amazon  is  focused  on  road  effects,  compiling  a  comprehensive  species  list   for  the  Yachana  Reserve  is  an  ongoing  objective  of  our  project,  in  order  to  uphold  the  Reserve’s  status  as   a  Bosque  Protector  (Protected  Forest,  a  designation  we  have  earned  from  the  Ecuadorian  Ministry  of  the   Environment).    Despite  six  years  of    near=constant  surveys  by  GVI  Amazon  volunteers,  the  diversity  of   the  Amazon  is  so  great  that  new  species  are  still  being  added  to  the  list.   Perhaps  the  most  exciting  of  these  additions  occurred  recently  during  a  reptile  and  amphibian  Visual   Encounter  Survey  (VES).  These  nocturnal  surveys  have  been  designed  to  determine  the  changes  in   species  density  and  composition  in  relation  to  distance  from  the  road,  and  recent  weeks  have  seen  a   huge  spike  in  reptile  and  amphibian  sightings.  One  site  in  particular  yielded  stunning  results,  with   enormous  amphibian  density  and  diversity,  including  a  sighting  of  Hemiphractus  scutatus  –  a  frog  found   only  once  before  here  on  the  reserve  –  and  the  discovery  of  the  Amazon  Leaf  Frog,  Cruziohyla   craspedopus,  never  before  encountered  in  Yachana.     What  is  particularly  special  about  these  discoveries  is  the  usual  difficulty  in  seeing  such  canopy-­‐dwelling   species.  As  they  rarely  venture  within  terrestrial  realms  –  and  only  do  so  under  very  particular   conditions  –  it  is  difficult  to  get  an  accurate  representation  of  these  species.  Furthermore,  the  frogs’   ability  to  generate  public  interest  and  enthusiasm  due  to  a  strikingly  spectacular  appearance  greatly   increases  the  value  of  such  discoveries,  and  proved  to  be  the  ideal  educational  tool  during  a  recent  visit   by  around  75  students  from  an  international  school  in  Quito.     The  student  visits,  split  over  three  days,  were  lead  by  two  Yachana  Technical  High  School  students  who   are  completing  a  3-­‐month  internship  at  GVI  as  part  of  our  National  Scholarship  Program  (NSP).    Guided   visits  with  our  NSP  students  served  to  give  the  younger  students  from  Quito  a  taste  of  the  research   going  on  here  at  GVI  Amazon.  The  wow-­‐factor  of  the  impressive  amphibians  worked  wonders  in  evoking   a  genuine  interest  in  the  students,  acting  as  the  perfect  portal  for  introducing  educational  science  and   conservation  concepts.       Thanks  to  a  hands-­‐on  learning  approach,  the  hard-­‐work  of  our  Yachana  NSP  interns,  and  the  peculiarity   of  our  amphibian  friends,  the  students  were  educated,  amazed,  and  inspired,  rendering  the  visits  a  great   success.    We  have  since  been  able  to  continue  this  fantastic  education  model  in  our  local  community,   with  GVI  interns  and  NSP  students  organizing  “science  days”  at  GVI  for  our  local  schools  –  check  out  the   photos  below!  

  the  Amazon  Leaf  Frog,  Cruziohyla  craspedopus    

  Hemiphractus  scutatus  

  GVI  volunteer  teaches  local  school  children,  teachers  and  parents  about  GVI´s  conservation  work  in  the   Yachana  Reserve    

  GVI  Amazon  National  Scholarship  Program  student  Henry  teaches  the  schoolchildren  how  to  make   Kichwa  crowns,  woven  from  jungle  plants  

    GVI  staff,  interns  &  NSP  student  with  the  children  and  parents  from  Agua  Santa  school,  during  Science   Day  at  GVI  Base  Camp      

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