We need to identify critical habitat for this species and many more, and then help our partners in Ecuador to purchase land and hire locals to protect it.
The Biodiversity Group discovered a species long thought to be extinct in remote Ecuadorian cloudforest. We have so far found the Tandayapa Andean toad (Rhaebo olallai) in just five streams, with a total of less than 100 meters of streams in forest that has not yet been cut down for cattle grazing. We are going back in January to discover more critical populations that will need to be protected for this species (and many others) to survive. We will accomplish this by climbing up and down muddy mountains and hopping slick boulders up and down waterfalls, and searching for these elusive critters. We are also collecting filtered water samples. Why?
These toads, as well as many other species, shed DNA into the water they live in and around. We can then use DNA fingerprinting to find habitat for the toad, even if we don’t see it.
Then, when we find more habitat for this toad we will work hard with our partners to protect each and every stream where we detect it.
These forests are disappearing rapidly. In the next few years, without our work, all of this species’ known range will be deforested. We need the data NOW so we can know exactly what to do to preserve these forests–and then do it.