Amphibians & Reptiles
As with most species found along the Río Aros and its tributaries, amphibians and reptiles have been little studied. The diverse array of natural environments awaits more detailed exploration. In 2005, a group of researchers affiliated with the University of Arizona conducted one of the first biological inventories of the Río Aros.
We have since collaborated with university scientists to initiate a baseline herpetofaunal inventory and monitoring program at the Northern Jaguar Reserve. Already, geographical range extensions have been noted for tropical reptiles like the spotted box turtle (Terrepene nelsoni) and the indigo snake (Drymarchon corais). Future herpetological work will certainly produce additional distributional records and natural history observations for these and other species of interest.
Lowland leopard frogs (Rana yavapaiensis) reach the southernmost limit of their known range in this part of Sonora. In the southwestern U.S., they have suffered precipitous declines, yet preliminary data suggests that they may be widespread and abundant at the reserve. We are working to determine status and potential local threats to leopard frogs so we can best develop conservation plans. Currently, we are investigating the presence and distribution of amphibian chytrid fungus. This pathogen has been implicated in the decline of amphibian species worldwide, including those found in pristine wilderness areas.
Photo by Jim Rorabaugh