Our reserve manager, Juan Pablo Reyes, is one of the scientists interviewed on an Ecuadorian national television feature about endangered frogs

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Juan Pablo Reyes, our reserve manager, and his colleagues have discovered more than ten new species of frogs in our Baños-area reserves. As one of Ecuador’s leading herpetologists, he was interviewed for the well-known weekly national television program “Dia a Dia”, which aired yesterday.

The program chose to broadcast a segment where he talks about one of his new species, Pristimantis puruscafeum. He named this species in honor of Puro Coffee, an organic coffee brand in the UK which gave us the initial support for what is now our largest reserve, Cerro Candelaria:

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Pristimantis puruscafeum. Photo: Juan Pablo Reyes/EcoMinga.

To see the whole program, go to this site and choose the May 5 2019 edition. The frog part begins at 32:00.

http://www.teleamazonas.com/actualidad/dia-a-dia/

We are pleased to have this national exposure!

Lou Jost, Fundacion EcoMinga

 

EcoMinga and the Universidad Estatal Amazonica sign 5-year collaboration agreement

The rector of the Universidad Estatal Amazonica, Dr Julio Cesar Vargas (left) and EcoMinga's Juan Pablo Reyes sign a five-year agreement of scientific and educational cooperation in Puyo last week.  A screen capture  from the Universidad Estatal Amazonica's TV channel; click here for the video. announcement.

The rector of the Universidad Estatal Amazonica, Dr Julio Cesar Vargas (left) and EcoMinga’s Juan Pablo Reyes sign a five-year agreement of scientific and educational cooperation in Puyo last week. A screen capture from the Universidad Estatal Amazonica’s TV channel; click here for the video. announcement.


Our Rio Zunac and Rio Anzu reserves are less than twenty kilometers from a major Ecuadorian public university, the Universidad Estatal Amazonica (UEA), which specializes in biological sciences. Juan Pablo Reyes and I have given guest lectures to classes there, and Juan Pablo has worked closely with UAE biologists on studies of large mammals in and around the two reserves just mentioned. We’ve also helped and hosted botanical studies by UEA professors Dr. David Neill, Dr. Antonio Vasquez, and their students. Last week Juan Pablo formalized our collaboration with this university by signing an agreement with its Rector, Dr Juio Cesar Vargas (who recently had one of our new Rio Zunac species of Magnolia tree named after him). We look forward to promoting good science in our area, and we are sure this collaboration will also lead to many new discoveries here. The agreement puts the university facilities and labs at our disposition, and encourages UAE faculty and students to do research in our forests. It may also give us access to funding for research. This is an exciting step for us–congratulations to Juan Pablo for taking the initiative on this collaboration!

Universidad Estatal Amazonica professor Dr Antonio Vasquez, expert on Neotropical magnolias, explaining evolution at our Rio Zunac scientific station. Dr Vasquez discovered two new species of Magnolia near this station, and last week confirmed the presence of a third newly-described species there. Photo: Lou Jost/EcoMinga.

Universidad Estatal Amazonica professor Dr Antonio Vasquez, expert on Neotropical magnolias, explaining evolution at our Rio Zunac scientific station. Dr Vasquez discovered two new species of Magnolia near this station, and last week confirmed the presence of a third newly-described species there. Photo: Lou Jost/EcoMinga.

Here is the University’s press release on the agreement:

UEA y ECOMINGA suscriben convenio para la ejecución de proyectos ecológicos

La Universidad Estatal Amazónica (UEA) y la Red de Protección de Bosques Amenazados “Ecominga” firmaron un Convenio de Cooperación la tarde del 26 de marzo de 2015, por un periodo de 5 años, cuyo objetivo se orienta a desarrollar actividades conjuntas de colaboración e investigación en temas de biología y monitoreo de especies amenazadas en los cantones Baños de Tungurahua y Mera de Pastaza.

Entre los compromisos adquiridos, ambas instituciones podrán ejecutar programas de prácticas, proyectos, asesorías/consultorías que contribuyan a la conservación, manejo y gestión del medio ambiente, así como la realización de acciones de desarrollo social o comunitario.

Juan Pablo Reyes, biólogo y director ejecutivo de la Fundación “Ecominga” habló sobre los alcances de este acuerdo e indicó que este tipo de iniciativas impulsa el cuidado de las especies que habitan en los corredores ecológicos de las áreas protegidas de los parques nacionales Llanganates y Sangay, garantizando la conservación de los recursos asociados a este ecosistema.

“En el tema de especies amenazadas hemos venido trabajando con la UEA para el monitoreo de grandes mamíferos con cámaras trampa y también hemos brindado apoyo en nuestras reservas para el descubrimiento de especies nuevas en el campo de la botánica”, puntualizó Reyes.

Por su parte, el Dr. Julio César Vargas, rector de la UEA, hizo hincapié en la importancia de formalizar estas alianzas con el objetivo de potenciar la preservación ambiental, asimismo aseguró el bienestar y disponibilidad del equipo humano y la infraestructura de la universidad amazónica para el desenvolvimiento acertado de los proyectos a desarrollarse.

“Las diferentes áreas que estamos protegiendo pueden servir como una especie de aula viva para que los estudiantes puedan observar las diferencias entre los ecosistemas que existen en la región” Juan Pablo Reyes, Director Ejecutivo Fundación Ecominga.

—RELACIONES PÚBLICAS UEA

Lou Jost

Our new frogs make it into the national newspapers! !Nuestras ranas nuevas llegan a los periodicos nacionales!

Juan Pablo Reyes (foreground), our reserve manager, discovered three of the five species of frogs reported in the Ecuadorian news media last month. Behind him are our staff members Abel Recalde, Abdon Recalde, Luis Recalde, and Tito Recalde. Here they are camping in our Rio Zunac Reserve. Photo: John Clark.

Juan Pablo Reyes (foreground), our reserve manager, discovered three of the five species of frogs reported in the Ecuadorian news media last month. Behind him are our staff members Abel Recalde, Abdon Recalde, Luis Recalde, and Tito Recalde. Here they are camping in our Rio Zunac Reserve. Photo: John Clark.

Recently the national press in Ecuador picked up the story of the three most recent new frogs discovered in and around our reserves by our reserve manager Juan Pablo Reyes and his associates at the Museo Ecuatoriano de Ciencias Naturales.

Recientamente la prensa nacional del Ecuador recogio la historia de tres de las nuevas ranas descubierto en y cerca de nuestras reservas por nuestro jefe de reservas, Juan Pablo Reyes, y sus socios en el Museo Ecuatoriano de Ciencias Naturales.

Pristimantis punzan. Photo: Juan Pablo Reyes.

Pristimantis punzan, one of the species discovered by Juan Pablo. Photo: Juan Pablo Reyes.

Here is an excerpt from the story in the paper “El Universo”/ Aqui es parte del articulo en “El Universo.”

“Habían pasado seis meses desde que el entonces estudiante universitario de biología Juan Pablo Reyes-Puig había recorrido el bosque. Eran jornadas nocturnas desde las seis de la tarde hasta la una de la mañana en las que bordeaba desfiladeros empinados cortados por riachuelos y ríos caudalosos del flanco oriental del Tungurahua.

“Reyes-Puig quería documentar los efectos de la erupción del volcán en la fauna como parte de su tesis. Seguía trochas naturales abiertas por mamíferos como el oso de anteojos cuando en diciembre del 2007 se topó sobre un helecho con una rana en medio de cedros y podocarpus.

“Su color blanquecino tierra que resaltaba sobre el follaje captó su atención. Tras siete años de análisis y comparaciones se determinó que era una nueva variedad de anfibio.

“La bautizaron como Pristimantis punzan, en honor al sitio Punzan del cantón Baños (Tungurahua), donde habita. Pero no sería la única especie nueva que Reyes-Puig y su equipo encontraron. Los hallazgos siguieron en el 2008 y con el apoyo de otros científicos como Mario Yánez-Muñoz, director del Museo Ecuatoriano de Ciencias Naturales, la labor de campo terminó en descripciones de tres nuevas especies de anfibios de las que recién se conocen detalles con la publicación de su información en diciembre pasado en revistas científicas del exterior.

“Junto con la Pristimantis punzan se describieron dos especies más: Pristimantis marcoreyesi y Pristimantis puruscafeum….”

Translation:
“For six months the then-student of biology Juan Pablo Reyes-Puig had been investigating this forest. These were night-time trips lasting from 6 p.m until 1 a.m. in the forests on steep canyons dissected by little streams and roaring rivers on the east flank of the volcano Tungurahua.

“Reyes-Puig wanted to document the effects of the volcano’s eruptions on the fauna as part of his thesis. He followed natural trails opened by mammals like the Spectacled Bear, when in December 2007 he came upon a fernwith a frog on it, in a forest of cedars and Podocarpus.

“Its earthy cream color contrasting with the foliage caught his attention. After seven years of analysis and comparisons, he determined that it was a new species of ampbibian.

“He named it Pristimantis punzan, in honor of the place called Punzan(Tungurahua) where it lived. But this was not the only new species Reyes-Puig and his team found. The discoveries continued in 2008 and with the help of other scientists like Mario Yánez-Muñoz, director of the Museo Ecuatoriano de Ciencias Naturales, this field work resulted in descriptions of three new species of amphibians, whose details just became known with their publication last December in international scientific journals. Along with Pristimantis punzan two other new species were described: Pristimantis marcoreyesi and Pristimantis puruscafeum.”

Juan Pablo Reyes, who discovered three new species of frogs reported in the news last month.

Juan Pablo Reyes as a student eight years ago during his thesis work.

Pristimantis puruscafeum, one of Juan Pablo's discoveries. Photo: Juan Pablo Reyes/EcoMinga.

Pristimantis puruscafeum, another of Juan Pablo’s discoveries. Photo: Juan Pablo Reyes/EcoMinga.

Links to stories about these frogs/ Links a historias sobre estas ranas:

http://www.eluniverso.com/vida-estilo/2015/01/25/nota/4474801/inventario-anfibios-suma-5-especies-mas

http://www.ecoticias.ec/noticia/se-descubren-5-nuevas-especies-de-anfibios-en-ecuador_4670

Lou Jost/EcoMinga

New species discovered by EcoMinga staff and co-workers, Part 2: Frogs

The first post in this series listed the new plant species discovered by our staff and co-investigators in and around our reserves near Banos, Ecuador. That post showed why our area is a paradise for botanists. It is no accident that this same area is a paradise for herpetologists too, and so this second post is devoted to the new species of frogs that our staff and their co-investigators discovered here. It’s a good time to post this, since our reserve manager Juan Pablo Reyes’ three latest frog discoveries, Pristimantis puruscafeum, Pristimantis marcoreyesi, and Pristimantis punzan, were just published last week (Tres nuevas especies de ranas terrestres Pristimantis (Anura: Craugastoridae) de la cuenca alta del Rio Pastaza, Ecuador: Juan Pablo Reyes-Puig, Carolina Reyes-Puig, Salamon Ramirez-Jaramillo, Maria Perez-L, y Mario Yanez-Munoz).

Pristimantis puruscafeum. Photo: Juan Pablo Reyes/EcoMinga.

Pristimantis puruscafeum. Photo: Juan Pablo Reyes/EcoMinga.

Pristimantis puruscafeum, was discovered by Juan Pablo in our Cerro Candelaria Reserve. We named it after Puro Coffee, a UK fair-trade coffee company whose very large donation to the World Land Trust allowed us to buy the first (and largest) block of properties for this reserve. It is a high-elevation frog found at 3100m in cold wet cloud forest. This same elevation is an important one for endemic plants in the reserve; it is the exact elevation where the 16 endemic Teagueia orchid species begin to appear on this mountain. We’ve seen this a lot here—the same unusual forests that host many new species of plants often host a new frog or two as well. This shouldn’t be a surprise, since the same evolutionary forces that promoted the speciation of locally endemic cloud forest plants might also be expected to  promote speciation of locally endemic fauna.

This week Andy Orchard of Puro Coffee, his videographer Kendal Kempsey, Juan Pablo, our forest caretakers the Recalde family, and myself will be in Cerro Candelaria looking for this frog, among other things. If we succeed, I’ll post video of it here.

Pristimantis marcoreyesi. Photo: Juan Pablo Reyes.

Pristimantis marcoreyesi. Photo: Juan Pablo Reyes.

Pristimantis marcoreyesi was named after Juan Pablos’ herpetologist brother, Marco, who died suddenly about a year ago. This species has been found in several locations in western end of the upper Rio Pastaza watershed at elevations around 2700m. Our Cerro Candelaria Reserve protects it as well.

Pristimantis punzan. Photo: Juan Pablo Reyes.

Pristimantis punzan. Photo: Juan Pablo Reyes.

Pristimantis punzan, the final species of this new publication, is found at about 2700m on the eastern flanks of Volcan Tungurahua in the upper Rio Pastaza watershed. This one has not yet been found in any of our reserves, but the local people of the type locality, Punzan, have been great caretakers of its habitat. Sr Nelson Palacios deserves special recognition for his conservation work and his willingness to help scientists learn about the area.

These three newest species join the following species previously discovered here by Juan Pablo and his colleagues at the Museo Ecuatoriano de Ciencias Naturales. (Special thanks to the director of the museum, Mario Yanez-Muñoz, for his interest in our area and his frequent collaborations with us.)

Pristimantis ardyae. Photo: Juan Pablo Reyes/EcoMinga.

Pristimantis ardyae. Photo: Juan Pablo Reyes/EcoMinga.

Pristimantis ardyae was discovered in 2012 by Juan Pablo and his colleagues at at 2200m in our Rio Zunac Reserve (Ranas terrestres del género Pristimantis (Anura:Craugastoridae) de la Reserva Ecológica Río Zúñag, Tungurahua, Ecuador: Lista anotada y descripción de una especie nueva: Marco M.Reyes-Puig, Juan Pablo Reyes-Puig, y Mario H. Yánez-Muñoz). It was named after Ardy van Ooij, who along with her husband Henri Botter, have been long-time financial supporters of that reserve. This is another example of the correlation between interesting orchids and interesting frogs; the orchid flora on that mountain changes dramatically around this elevation, with many new and locally endemic species.

Osornophryne simpsoni. Figure 2 of "A new species of Andean toad (Bufonidae, Osornophryne) discovered using molecular and morphological data, with a taxonomic key for the genus." Diego J. Páez-Moscoso, Juan M. Guayasamin, Mario Yánez-Muñoz, ZooKeys 108: 73–97 (2011).

Osornophryne simpsoni. Figure 2 of “A new species of Andean toad (Bufonidae, Osornophryne) discovered using molecular and morphological data, with a taxonomic key for the genus.” Diego J. Páez-Moscoso, Juan M. Guayasamin, Mario Yánez-Muñoz, ZooKeys 108: 73–97 (2011).

Osornophryne simpsonii, discovered by Diego J. Páez-Moscoso, Juan M. Guayasamin, and Mario Yánez-Muñoz (A new species of Andean toad (Bufonidae, Osornophryne) discovered using molecular and morphological data, with a taxonomic key for the genus: Diego J. Páez-Moscoso, Juan M. Guayasamin, Mario Yánez-Muñoz) in the same area, is yet another example of the correlation between distributions of unusual orchids and unusual frogs. This species was named after one of our directors, Nigel Simpson, who has a special interest in frogs and financed much research on them, as well as a book coauthored by Juan Pablo (and with a Foreword by Sir David Attenborough).

Pristimantis bellae. Click to enlarge. Photo: Juan Pablo Reyes/EcoMinga.

Pristimantis bellae. Click to enlarge. Photo: Juan Pablo Reyes/EcoMinga.

Pristimantis bellae was discovered in 2008 by Juan Pablo and his colleagues in our Cerro Candelaria Reserve at an elevation of 2000m (Una nueva especie de rana Pristimantis (Anura: Craugastoridae)
del corredor ecológico Llangantes-Sangay, Andes de Ecuador: Juan Pablo Reyes-Puig and Mario H. Yánez-Muñoz
). This is named after Hilary Bell, at the time an employee of PricewaterhouseCoopers. When our crew was leaving the then-new Cerro Candelaria Reserve with Andy Orchard of Puro Coffee (see Pristimantis puruscafeum above), we ran into loggers sizing up the neighboring properties (which we also wanted to preserve) to decide whether they were worth buying for their timber. Alarmed, we reached out to the World Land Trust who asked PricewaterhouseCoopers to help us buy this land. Their quick action enabled us to secure this strategic land. We offered to name a frog after them, but they preferred to stage an environmental-themed contest among their employees and name the frog after the winner, who turned out to be Hilary Bell. This frog has since been found in a number of other localities in the upper Rio Pastaza and Rio Napo watersheds.

Pristimantis tungurahua. Photo: Juan Pablo Reyes.

Pristimantis tungurahua. Photo: Juan Pablo Reyes.

Pristimantis tungurahua was discovered by Juan Pablo and his colleagues in 2007 on the lower flanks of Volcan Tungurahua at about 2700m (Una nueva especie de rana Pristimantis (Terrarana: Strabomantidae) de los bosques nublados de la cuenca alta del río Pastaza, Ecuador: Juan P. Reyes-Puig, Mario H. Yánez-Muñoz, Diego F. Cisneros-Heredia, Salomón Ramírez). Since then it has also been found at similar elevations in other nearby mountains, including our Cerro Candelaria Reserve.

Pristimantis loujostii. Photo: Juan Pablo Reyes. (When I first posted this, I posted the wrong picture, an as-yet-undescribed species. Sorry!)

Pristimantis loujostii. Photo: Juan Pablo Reyes. (When I first posted this, I posted the wrong picture, an as-yet-undescribed species. Sorry!)

Pristimantis loujostii was discovered by Juan Pablo and his colleagues in 2008 in our Cerro Candelaria Reserve (Una nueva especie de rana terrestre Pristimantis (Anura: Terrarana: Strabomantidae) de la cuenca alta del Río Pastaza, Ecuador: Mario H. Yánez-Muñoz, Diego F. Cisneros-Heredia,and Juan P. Reyes) They decided to surprise me by naming it after me. Many thanks, my friends! That was a very touching surprise.

For those of you who know Spanish, here is a short talk Juan Pablo gave about our reptiles and amphibians during a recent zoology conference in Colombia:

Lou Jost
http://www.ecominga.com
http://www.loujost.com