Photographs from a field trip to Ecuador (July-August 2008)

Andean and Amazonian Reptiles

Yasuni National Park Field Trip (eastern Amazonia, Orellana Province)

Atelopus sp. Field Trip (southern Andes, Morona Province)

Pontifical Universidad Católica del Ecuador (PUCE) Endangered Frog Colony


Andean and Amazonian Reptiles

  Potamites ecpleopus
  Anolis fuscoauratus
  Gonatodes humeralis
  Gonatodes humeralis
  Leptodeira annulata
  Lepidoblepharis festo
  Potamites sp.


Yasuni National Park (Orellana Province)

  Amazonian rainforest
  Yasuni Research Station (PUCE)
  Yasuni Research Station (PUCE)
  This tapir is a resident of Yasuni Research Station.
  A view of the canopy from below.
  Thick forest around Yasuni Research Station.
  Rio Tiputini flowing past Yasuni Research Station.
  Fearless collaborator Santiago Ron (he committed a felony while working on a master's degree in Kansas).
  Bolitoglossa peruviana
  Chiasmocleis bassleri
  Chiasmocleis bassleri (venter)
  Leptodactylus andreae
  Leptodactylus pentadactylus
  Hypodactylus nigrovittatus
  Pristimantis lanthanites
  Pristimantis acuminatus
  Pristimantis conspicillatus
  Pristimantis kichwarum
  Pristimantis martiae
  Pristimantis sp.
  Allobates insperatus
  Amereega bilinguis
  Ranitomeya duellmani
  Edalorhina perezi
  Rhinella dapsilis
  Rhinella margaretifera
  Dendropsophus bifurcus
  Dendropsophus parviceps
  Hypsiboas calcaratus
  Hypsiboas geographicus
  Hypsiboas granosus
  Hypsiboas lanciformis
  Osteocephalis planiceps
  Osteocephalis yasuni
  Scinax ruber
  Phyllomedusa vaillanti
  A bird's eye view of Amazonia


Site of Atelopus sp. Field Trip (Morona Province

  Andean lowlands
  Andean cloud forest in early morning
  Andean forest in morning
  A spectacular view
  Forest showing signs of human development
  The stream that is home to the last remaining population of Atelopus sp. (undescribed species). The site is currently under threat because of a road project nearby.
  This photo shows some of the results of the road project. The construction workers remove material from the other side of the mountain for gravel and fill dirt, but they push some of the debris over the other side of the mountain, into the Atelopus stream.
  Conducting Atelopus surveys along this stream involved climbing waterfalls and other really intelligent activities.
  Surveying for Atelopus tadpoles (they are almost impossible to see!).
  Upland habitat around stream
  An Atelopus absorbing some morning sun in his natural habitat.
  A zoomed in view of the frog above. This is exactly the position in which we found him.
  Alan Lemmon swabbing an Atelopus to check for chytrid fungus, a pathogen that has contributed to catastrophic declines in this genus.
  Each frog has a unique belly pattern that researchers use to identify individuals.
  Emily Moriarty Lemmon photographing a frog on its perch.
  Amplexed pair of Atelopus sp.
  Dendropsophus bifurcus
  Dendropsophus minutus
  Hypsiboas calcaratus
  Hypsiboas calcaratus (metamorph)
  Hypsiboas lanciformis
  Scinax ruber
  Hyloscirtus phyllognatus
  Hyloscirtus phyllognatus (female with eggs)
  Cloud forest with ferns and tree ferns
  Tree Fern
  Shifting clouds on the mountainside
  Tree covered in bromeliads
  Forested cliffs with waterfall
  Cloud forest mountainside with white Guarumo trees

Paramo (above treeline in the Andes)

  Paramo—the bioregion with the highest amphibian extinction rate in Ecuador
  Andean lowlands


PUCE Endangered Frog Colony

As a result of rapid declines in approximately 30% of Ecuador's frog species, researchers at PUCE started a captive colony to preserve the most highly endangered species. They are currently trying identify the environmental cues that will stimulate the frogs to breed in captivity. If successful, PUCE researchers hope to reintroduce these frogs to their natural habitat someday.

  Broad view of frog colony
  View of frog colony
  Endangered Ceratophrys (covered with pebbles).

Rare Hemiphractus scutatus carrying ten babies

  Hemiphractus scutatus with froglets.

Hemiphractus scutatus froglet with unabsorbed
yolk sac.