Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
Amphibian Monitoring and Conservation Workshop in Sonora, Mexico
Southwest Region, August 21, 2008
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 Fourteen of the 37 amphibian species that have been documented in Sonora are on México’s list of species-at-risk; some, such as the Chiricahua leopard frog (Lithobates chiricahuensis) are on U.S. endangered species list as well.  A number of these species are thought to be declining; however, relatively little is known of their status in Sonora.   To build capacity for amphibian conservation and studies in Northwestern Mexico, Arizona Ecological Services Office, Arizona Game and Fish Department (AGFD), The Phoenix Zoo, and Naturalia (a Mexican conservation NGO) developed and taught a workshop titled “Inventory, Monitoring, and Conservation of Amphibians of Northwestern Mexico, with Emphasis in Sonora,” in Sonora, Mexico from August 19 to 21, 2008.  The workshop was hosted by Naturalia at their ranch, Los Fresnos, located in the San Rafael Valley just south of the U.S. – Mexico border.   Eleven students participated in the class, including two representatives from the Reserva Forestal Nacional y Refugio de Vida Silvestre Ajos-Bavispe (Ajos-Bavispe National Wildlife Refuge and Forest Reserve; part of the Comisión Nacional de Áreas Naturales Protegidas [CONANP] or National Commission of Natural Protected Areas of Mexico), one from the Comisión de Ecología y Desarrollo Sustentable del Estado de Sonora (CEDES; Commission of Ecology and Sustainable Development of Sonora), and four from NGOs in Sonora, as well as four biology students from the University of Sonora.  The workshop included theoretical and practical sessions on the following topics: Diversity, Distribution, and Habitats of Northwestern Mexico Amphibians;  Identification of Northwestern Mexico Amphibians; Threats to Northwestern Mexico Amphibians;  Survey Methodologies; Field Protocols for Preventing Spread of Disease and Invasive Plants and Animals; Long-term Amphibian Monitoring Strategies for Reservas and other managed areas; Conservation Tools and Methods; and Captive management, including husbandry, headstarting, and propagation.  The students received a workbook that included information regarding the aforementioned topics in Spanish, as well as sources where they could obtain additional information.   Depending on funding and workforce capability, next year we will give more in-depth workshops to biologists, students, reserve and zoo staff, as well as veterinarians.

Contact Info: Nick Carrillo, (602) 242-0210x203, nick_carrillo@fws.gov
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