Harlequin frogs, sustainable ranching, and miracle coral

These were the most read stories published by our Spanish-language service, Mongabay-Latam, last week: Scientists in Colombia strive to understand what is happening with the Athelopus frog genus in order to save them from extinction, while a cattle ranch in Bolivia opts for an ambitious sustainable tourism project, and more.

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The race to protect Colombia’s disappearing harlequin frogs

Scientists and institutions recently suggested that it’s time to declare the Quimbaya frog, an endemic amphibian of the Andes mountain range in Colombia, extinct, since there have been no records of the species since 1997. Now, these same groups are struggling to find a way to save other species of harlequin frogs, since 90 percent of them are also threatened with extinction.

Atelopus spurrelli is still a minor concern in the forests of the Chocó Biogeographic Region. Image by Diego Gómez Hoyos.

San Carlos: A cattle ranch that protects wildlife in Bolivia

In the Bolivian Amazon, the San Carlos Wildlife Eco Reserve project brings people closer to wildlife such as jaguars, caimans and pink dolphins, but in an environmentally responsible way. The ambitious sustainable tourism project aims to save the forest and biodiversity of this part of Bolivia’s Beni department, which is threatened by deforestation.

The future of the wildlife in Bolivia’s Beni department is threatened by plans by the region’s governor to promote the conversion of 70,000 square kilometers (27,000 square miles) to productive land. Image by Eduardo Franco Berton.

The miraculous survival of Varadero Reef’s corals in the Bay of Cartagena

Heavy pollution of Colombia’s Magdalena River pouring into the Caribbean Sea has killed 80 percent of the corals around the Rosario Islands. The corals of Varadero survived that disaster, but this miracle escape is now threatened by a project to modernize the port of Cartagena and the Bocachica Channel.

Varadero Reef in the Bay of Cartagena. Image by Valeria Pizarro.

Camera-trap curriculum: Ecuadoran children learn about jaguars, monkeys and pumas

When a teacher from the indigenous community of Zancudo Cocha saw the camera trap images of wildlife from the Cuyabeno Reserve in Ecuador, she knew they were perfect teaching material for her students.

Children learn about the biodiversity of their forests as they go out to collect and hunt with their parents and grandparents. Image courtesy of WWF Ecuador.

Meet the first communal reserve contributing to the Amazon Indigenous REDD initiative in Peru

The Amarakaeri Communal Reserve receives financial compensation for protecting its biodiversity and safeguarding the traditional knowledge of its indigenous peoples. In Peru, an estimated 400,000 square kilometers (154,000 square miles), an area nearly the size of California, could potentially be protected under this scheme.

The eight Harakbut communities that co-manage the Amarakaeri Communal Reserve are the San Miguel de Shintuya, Puerto Luz, Puerto Azul Mberowe, San José de Karene, Barranco Chico, Boca Ishiriwe, Queros, and Masenawa. Image courtesy of Green House Tambopata.

Women park rangers protect Nicaraguan sea turtles from traffickers

The leatherback sea turtle has lost 97 percent of its eastern Pacific population in the last 30 years due to the theft of eggs. But the female park rangers of San Juan del Sur fight to protect these turtles in Nicaragua.

Rangers Yajaira Vargas and Karen Lacayo in the turtle nursery of El Ostional beach, where they work every day. El Ostional, Nicaragua, April 2018. Photo by Monica Pelliccia.

Read these stories in their entirety in Spanish at Mongabay-Latam.

This story first appeared on Mongabay

South Africa Today – Environment

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