New research from the Amazon Conservation team in PeruPROJECT & POD NEWS / 14 July 2016
New research carried out at our Amazon Conservation project in Peru is vital in advancing scientific knowledge on two little-known reptile species; the teiid lizard and the Amazon Basin tree snake.
The conservation status of these two species (Kentropyx altamazonica and Imantodes lentiferus respectively) is unknown, as they have yet to be evaluated by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
So who are these little known reptiles?
The Amazon Basin tree snake is an arboreal and nocturnal species that occurs in lowland rainforest of the Amazon Basin and Guiana region. Whilst the teiid lizard is a foraging species that’s associated with water edges and is distributed throughout Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Brazil.
What research is being done?
The project research team, along with the help of volunteers, have been conducting extensive research; incubating and monitoring egg clutches laid by the teiid lizard and tree snake, recording data on the mothers and hatchlings, before then releasing them back into the rainforest reserve. They have been delighted that their research has been published in the Phyllomedusa: Journal of Herpetology.
Field observations on the reproductive biology of reptiles are particularly important in understanding their life history, ecology, and evolution yet data remains sparse for many tropical species. Without this information, it is very difficult to develop effective conservation management strategies. The team are keen to recruit more volunteers to help support their vital research and conservation work!
Globally, there is a severe lack of information on reptiles despite the fact that they are key components of their ecosystems and are threatened worldwide. In the most diverse regions of the world, like tropical rainforests, declines in herpetofauna (amphibians and reptiles) are at their steepest – with habitat destruction, invasive species, exploitation, climate change, and disease all threatening their survival.
Without more research and effective conservation planning, we could lose many species before they are even known.
How can I help?
Volunteer's can join and support the research team in at the Amazon Conservation project and help to advance scientific knowledge on the local rainforest and contribute to conservation efforts worldwide.
You can find out more about how you can join and support the volunteer placement in Peru here: https://www.podvolunteer.org/projects/amazon-conservation-peru