RAIN FROGS

Establishing presence of Eleutherodactylus spp. around Cockpit South

SUB-PROJECT OF COUNTERMAPPING COKCPIT

FUNDED BY: AUCKLAND ZOO CONSERVATION FUND, WILD PLANET TRUST, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC SOCIETY

STATUS: ONGOING

This unconfirmed species of rain frog are among the many that have been found in Jenny Tarbun - a former stream, now marshland, in Accompong. The region has been disturbed by a recent development project.

This project aims both to monitor species presence, abundance and richness of amphibian and reptile species around particular water sources in Cockpit South and to monitor the environmental changes affecting their aquatic niches. What initially began as evaluating the effects of stream restoration by contrasting the marshland of Jenny Tarbun with springs and streams has now become an urgent assessment of how threatened species of rain frogs are affected by the aftermath of a failed development project.

Grid sampling as well as species counts and underwater drone surveys will be used to establish presence, relative abundance and species richness in at least three key freshwater sites (Jenny Tarbun, Riverside, Cowgate; though the location of a fourth water source has been given to us by a Maroon villager and may become part of the study). Aquatic dataloggers have been deployed in two sites to provide longitudinal data of water temperature. Camera traps have been set at two of these sites (with confirmed amphibian and reptilian presence) to assess small mammal predator threat.

Outputs of this project will include contribution to the red list assessment of endemic threatened Eleutherodactylus species and an ID guide with scientific drawings and photographs. We hope to expand this project by GPS tracking larger aquatic species (Jamaican sliders) to establish range maps. After September 2021 we will begin to publish raw and analysed project data on this page.

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