ECOSARA amphibian research volunteers will be involved in every aspect of the study of the biology, population dynamics and distribution of the amphibian species recorded in San Rafael. Research volunteers will work as part of a small group overseen by a staff member on current research projects or for those that wish to develop their own projects, alone under the guidance of a staff member who will assist them to ensure that their results are both useful and productive. A file of suggested amphibian research projects with detailed instructions is available for volunteers who wish to work alone and are looking for ideas on how to do so. Of course volunteers are able to switch between projects, just because you signed up as a amphibian volunteer doesnīt mean that you canīt also do some work with mammals or invertebrates if the fancy takes you!

We encourage
ECOSARA research volunteers to publish the results of their work and offer all the assistance necessary to those that wish to do so. For many volunteers the opportunity to see their name in print is something that is extremely appealing. Volunteers will be credited in any publication that uses data which they helped to gather. Volunteers who carry out their own projects will have an informal meeting each evening with staff members to discuss progress and will be expected to produce a brief report of their findings at the end of their stay.

We think that
ALL field observations are important and accurate note-taking is part of the daily routine of all volunteers. The study of amphibians is for the most part a nocturnal pursuit and amphibian volunteers will have ample opportunity to rest during the heat of the day to prepare them for their after-dark endeavours. Daily observations and records will be logged into the San Rafael biodiversity database to keep tabs on amphibian abundance and distribution. Volunteers with a knack for photography are always welcome, we are always looking to boost the photographic database of the parks fauna.  In the interests of making data accessible and open to all we collaborate with online database projects such as the FAUNA image gallery.

Some projects are ongoing throughout the year, other projects - in situ studies of breeding and vocalisations - are more seasonal. If you have a specific project in mind that you would like to work on, check with us that it isnīt seasonal before confirming your dates!!

To give you an idea of the sort of work that amphibian volunteers are involved with, here are some of the more popular projects:

Captive breeding studies to document larval development.
Recording and study of vocalisations, their significance, seasonality and usage.
Microhabitat preference of amphibians.
Behavioural and dietary studies of wild individuals - how much can a toad eat in one night!?
Effects of agro-toxins on populations and distribution and amphibians.
Effects of ultra-violet light on the development of amphibian larvae.
Determination of the frequency of the green morph of Physalaemus cuvieri
Grasslands as a refuge for forest amphibians.
Amphibian fauna associated with artifical versus natural ponds.
Quantitative biogeography of the amphibians in the reserve.
Population and abundance of amphibians in the reserve.
Taxonomic studies of the herpetofauna, paying close attention to morphometric and chromatic characters.
Inventory projects, many more amphibian species are likely present in the reserve than have currently been recorded.

You donīt need to have any scientific background to be an
ECOSARA amphibian research volunteer, just enthusiasm, a sense of adventure and willingness to get your hands dirty!

Up for it?!

Click here to apply now!
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