- Project name: Saving the last mouth brooding frogs: is chytridiomycosis driving Darwin's frogs extinction?
- Project site: Chile
- EDGE species: Northern Darwin’s frog Rhinoderma rufum & Southern Darwin’s frog Rhinoderma darwinii
- Active: 2009 - 2010
Claudio has been involved in animal conservation since 2004, working on various projects focused on endangered mammals such as the southern river otter (Lontra provocax), marine otter (Lontra felina) and Darwin’s fox (Pseudalopex fulvipes). More recently he has been involved in the protection and conservation of Darwin’s frogs of Chile.
Claudio became an EDGE Fellow to try to answer the question of why Darwin’s frogs were disappearing, and to evaluate the impact of chytridiomycosis on native amphibians. He strongly believes that coordinated efforts and a multidisciplinary approach to investigate and conserve Northern and Southern Darwin´s frogs (Rhinoderma rufum and R. darwinii) may save these amazing and unique species from extinction.
Claudio’s project objectives were:
- To find the last populations of Rhinoderma rufum and R. darwinii within their historical range, in order to identify the main threats to their populations and develop urgent measures for their protection
- To test individuals of R. darwinii from declining and healthy populations for Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd)
- To gather all relevant stakeholders in order to generate political and public awareness for amphibian conservation with special emphasis on Rhinoderma spp.
- To detect the presence of amphibian chytridiomycosis in five distant geographic areas of Chile (Altiplano, North, Central Region, South and Patagonian Forest)
- To compare prevalence levels of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis infection between areas and species in Chile, and identify the means of the introduction of the disease
- To correlate the emergence of chytridiomycosis in Chile with the introduction of Xenopus laevis in the Central Region of Chile