Quimbaya harlequin frog (Atelopus quimbaya)
Mohamed bin Zayed Species project number 0925632
The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) believes in the intrinsic value of the diversity and integrity of life and the importance of wildlife and wilderness to the quality of human life. WCS saves wildlife and wild lands through careful science, international conservation, education, and the management of the world’s largest system of urban wildlife parks, led by its flagship the Bronx Zoo. These activities change individual attitudes towards nature and help people imagine wildlife and humans living in sustainable interaction on both a local and a global scale. In Colombia, WCS focuses its actions in the Central-Western Andean region of the country. WCS has been working in this landscape for fifteen years (since 1994), carrying out activities framed within four different but complimentary strategies: research, capacity building, technical assistance, and policy making. Research projects currently focus on a set of priority landscape species (spectacled bears -Tremarctos ornatus; pacarana - Dinomys branickii; Neotropical otter - Lontra longicaudis; Cauca guan - Penelope perspicax; cinnamon teal - Anas cyanoptera; golden-plumed parakeet - Leptosittaca branicki), particularly endangered vertebrates (e.g. amphibians) and critically threatened ecosystems (e.g. dry forests, wetlands and Paramo shrublands). WCS Colombia is developing a project jointly with Cali Zoo combining ex situ and in situ programs for conservation of two endangered species in Colombia (Ranitomeya bombetes and Strabomantis ruizi). Also, WCS Colombia has begun to conduct baseline studies with amphibians to understand factors limiting abundance and population density along altitudinal range. These studies will allow making predictions about climate change effects in amphibians populations. However, throughout the years the team has conducted research projects on various threatened species (including birds, mammals, frogs, and plants), animal and plant communities, forest dynamics, and the effects of habitat reduction and fragmentation on biodiversity. Most of these projects have been either conducted by graduate and undergraduate students or research associates, who have been provided with the opportunity to fully design and implement conservation oriented research projects, thus building capacity among young professionals. Additional capacity building activities are conducted with governmental staff and local communities. WCS Colombia provides technical support to the design and implementation of a Regional System of Protected Areas in the Eje Cafetero region (part of the Central-Western Andes region of Colombia). WCS Colombia works together with various governmental entities, including: Colombia’s National Ministry of Environment, Housing and Territorial Development, Colombia’s National Natural Parks Service, Regional Environmental Authorities of the Valle del Cauca (CVC), Risaralda (CARDER), Caldas (CORPOCALDAS), Tolima (CORTOLIMA) and Quindío (CRQ) Departments, as well as with local and international NGOs and individuals.
Project 0925632 location - Colombia, South America