María José Chang

  • Project name: Searching cloud forest conservation for the endangered salamander Nyctanolis pernix
  • Project site: Laj Chimel, Guatemala
  • EDGE species: Nimble long-limbed salamander, Nyctanolis pernix
  • Active: 2021 - ongoing


María has a university degree in biology and is very interested in the functional ecology of reptiles and amphibians. Most recently she has worked as a laboratory teacher in the Universidad of San Carlos in Guatemala, where she teaches vertebrate and invertebrate zoology course in the school of Biology.

María hopes to gain experience and a new perspective in amphibian conservation. She is also excited to gain additional knowledge in conservation strategies and tools that can be used to aid in her conservation projects.

EDGE Project

María’s project aims to increase the knowledge of Nyctanolis pernix distribution and natural history traits.

Her objectives are to:

  • Map the occupancy of N. pernix in Guatemala;
  • Generate information about N. pernix behaviour;
  • Assess the presence of diseases as possible threats to N. pernix in Guatemala;
  • Update the N. pernix distribution model;
  • Understand community perspectives about the importance of N. pernix and amphibians for the conservation of their forests;
  • Understand the current livelihood options of the community and identify opportunities for sustainable tourism;
  • Evaluate the potential of N. pernix to be flagship species for the conservation of cloud forests in Guatemala.