Central Caribbean Amphibian Inventory Initiative

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Costa Rica is well known for having one the richest diversities of flora and fauna on the planet.  What makes this country even more special is the fact that its astonishing biological richness is found within a tiny national territory of merely 51,032 km2, which is equal to 0.5% of that of the U.S.A.

Costa Rica’s tropical latitude, highly mountainous terrain, and forming part of the Mesoamerican land bridge between North and South America create the ideal conditions that permit a high diversity of flora and fauna.  Amphibians make-up a crucial part of Costa Rica’s fauna.  To date 199 species have been documented from within the republic.

With all these species of amphibians known from within Costa Rica, one poorly known or little thought of region stands out for its impressive concentration of richness, the central Caribbean.  The central Caribbean slopes and lowlands of Costa Rica host a mega biological diversity due to in part by the convergence of three distinct ecoregions: the Central Volcanic Mountain Range, Talamancan Mountain Range, and the Santa Clara Lowlands.  Unfortunately owing to the difficult access of much of the region, it also remains one of the least studied of Costa Rica, but likely harboring the highest concentration of species.  More detailed field studies are needed to fully understand the current diversity, abundance, and distribution of species within the central Caribbean.

In 2012 the C.R.A.R.C. initiated the “Central Caribbean Amphibian Inventory Initiative”.  The goal of this project is to generate concurrent data regarding the presence and distribution of species in this region through detailed field inventories. Following a serious field inventory effort throughout the region, data on species found at the different sites will allow for an analysis justifying the need to implement possible in situ or ex situ conservation action plans.  According to research by Brian Kubicki into the historical collection data available from within the region, nearly 30 species categorized by the IUCN as either “Critically Endangered” or “Endangered” once inhabited the area, but due to most of these collections taking place prior to the 1980’s it is unknown whether or not they are still present.  During field inventory studies to date in the region, Brian has already discovered populations of several “Critically Endangered” or “Endangered” species, all at previously unknown sites.  The potential of this project to add to the knowledge of the amphibians of Costa Rica, and put into action possible conservation projects cannot be underestimated.

Being a small private and family run project, one operating on very limited budget, we are seeking any financial support that can be afforded to help carry Central Caribbean Amphibian Inventory Initiative through to completion.  Any and all donations received are put to use helping cover the expenses associated with field inventories such as gas, food, lodging when needed, and necessary field equipment.  None of our funding generated through donations goes towards salaries.  If you are interested helping support the Central Caribbean Amphibian Inventory Initiative, please contact us directly, or click on the donate button below.

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