Ecuador’s most recently described glass frogs, a model plan for coastal management in Colombia, and using lights to scare away pumas in Chile were among the top recent stories from our Spanish-language service, Mongabay Latam.
Colombia: Integrated coastal management protects local species and culture
A fisheries zoning plan is protecting both local species and artisanal fishing in a coastal region of northwest Colombia. In an effort to reduce conflict between local fisherfolk and industrial shrimp trawlers, stakeholders have established the Tribugá Gulf – Cabo Corrientes Regional District of Integrated Management plan, and created specific trawling zones. As a result, turtle nests are increasing and over-exploited species, such as marlin and snapper, are recovering, along with coral reefs and mangroves.
Chile: Whale lesions tell toxic tale
Blue whales studied in Chile have been shown to have high concentrations of industrial chemicals in their skin and blubber. Initial findings show levels of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) used in multiple industries, although a second study might point to the salmon industry. Researchers first observed unusual lesions and bumps on the whales.
Pumas hate disco lights
Flashing lights could be a simple solution to rancher-predator conflicts. An experiment showed flashing lights deterred pumas (Puma concolor) from attacking llama and alpaca enclosures in Chile. In nearby areas without the lights, seven animals were killed. Pumas play a critical role as a top predator in the high hill ecosystems of the Andes in northern Chile.
Mining threatens Ecuador’s newly discovered glass frog
There was little doubt that as soon as Ecuador’s newly described glass frog was registered as a species that it would be classified as Critically Endangered. The new species (Nymphargus manduriacu), distinguished by yellow spots on its back, was first observed in the Rio Manduriacu Reserve, a region impacted by large scale agriculture, timber projects, palm oil plantations, and most recently, mining.
Amazon’s largest river transport project on hold
The largest river transport project in the Amazon is on hold due to a missing community consultation plan. The Hidrovía Amazónica project will cover a large area of the Huallaga, Marañón, Ucayali and Amazonas rivers. Since the project requires significant dredging, it could effect thousands of fishing areas and the economies and cultures of local indigenous and fishing communities.