Bioko Amphibian Project

 

Summer 2011 Research Plan

Patrick McLaughlin, Rayna Bell & Andrew Fertig

August 14th – September 18th 2011

 

Overview of Ongoing Research

Fieldwork during the summer field season will continue to support ongoing projects concerned with genetic connectivity in amphibian populations. The majority of this research involves collection of targeted species at multiple different locations across Bioko Island. In addition, we will be continuing to inventory amphibian species across the island, including inventories at many new sites along Pico Basile, along Bioko’s Eastern coast, and along the Southern Beaches. During all collection activities, we will also be searching for potentially new species of amphibians and determining new ranges for species we suspect to exist in Bioko Island. All frogs caught and/or collected will also be swabbed/tested for the fungal disease chytridiomycosis, a global pandemic that has caused massive global die-off in amphibians.

Moka Forests, Moaba & Southern Beaches

We will target highland streams around the Moka Wildlife Center and Lago Biao for Petropedetes johnstoni and Phrynobatrachus auritus, the focal species in the ongoing genetic study. In addition, Cornell University graduate student Rayna Bell will also be targeting a rare species of tree frog (Genus: Hyperolius) in the highland forests around Lago Biao. We will also continue collection for inventories and chytrid sampling in the forests between Moka and Moaba, and along the Southern Beaches.

Pico Basilé, Moeri & Surrounding Forests

In this highland region we will be mainly focused on collecting the rare Hyperolius tree frogs, which are anticipated to exist in this region yet this has never been verified. In addition, we will continue sampling the various species for the genetic study, and verifying their populations in this isolated region of habitat. For inventory work, we will follow up on reports from 2008 that two rare and critically endangered amphibians exist north of Moeri on the back slopes of Pico Basile.

Rivers, Streams & Forests Along Bioko’s Eastern Coast

For both primate surveys and amphibian work, little effort has been focused in this region of Bioko Island. We will travel along the Bioko’s coastal road, and stop for sampling at major streams and rivers we cross along the way. Again, our main focus will be on the species used in the genetic studies, and continuing basic inventories. It is suspected that a lowland amphibian found on the mainland, the Goliath frog (Conraua goliath) may also exist on Bioko. This would be a significant find, as this is the world’s largest frog and endangered in its range on the mainland. If it does exist on the mainland, it should likely be found in lowland areas along the eastern coast. Finally, while traversing streams and rivers we will also conduct basic primate monitoring to determine species presence or absence in this suspected area of intense hunting.