In 2021, we received approximately 50 applications from the ASA Start-up Conservation Grants call. On the one hand, this high number of applications demonstrates there are amazing amphibian conservation projects being conducted worldwide. However, it also illustrates how many organisations are in urgent need of funding to conserve amphibians. Because our resources are unfortunately limited, the ASA is only able to fund a small proportion of the projects that have applied for our grants. However, because we consider all projects to be important for advancing amphibian conservation around the world, we would like to publicise them on our platforms, to help draw the attention of other funding entities, potential collaborators and/or partners.

Below you can learn more about the project Effectiveness of the bacterium Janthinobacterium lividum under natural conditions on the prevalence and intensity of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidisin the Telmatobius intermedius species from the Barbara D`Achille Pampa Galeras National Reserve, Peru proposed by Asociación Pro Fauna Silvestre Ayacucho (Víctor Jassmani Vargas García, [email protected]).

The decline of amphibians occurs alarmingly in the world, with infectious diseases (e.g. the pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, Bd) being one of the causes (Catenazzi 2015; Azat 2021; Scheele et al. 2019). In view of this, it is necessary to adopt measures to mitigate the impact of this disease. These measures are a priority of the Amphibian Survival Alliance – ASA (ASA 2021) and it is also found in the IUCN Action Plan for the conservation of amphibians (Wren et al. 2015). Research has detected and demonstrated the existence of skin bacteria, which, when cultured in the laboratory, inhibit the growth of the Bd fungus (Catenazzi et al. 2018; West et al. 2019; Muletz et al. 2012). One of them is the bacterium Janthinobacterium lividum (Jliv), which under laboratory conditions decreases the prevalence and intensity of Bd in amphibian skin (Brucker et al. 2008; Becker et al. 2009; Muletz et al. 2012; Ackleh et al. 2016; Woodhams et al. 2018). However, its effectiveness under natural conditions is still unknown.

The objective of this project is to determine the efficacy of the Jliv bacterium as a Bd controller in wild populations of the “Allipacca water frog” (Telmatobius intermedius), a species listed as Endangered by the IUCN (2018), under natural conditions, in order to establish simple protocols to be replicated in other species and their populations. The project will be carried out in the National Reserve of Pampa Galeras Barbara D’Achille in the southern Andes of Peru, in the district and province of Lucanas, department of Ayacucho, at coordinates UTM 564165 S and 8378307 E (18L) and over 3946 meters high. The site is considered a KBA (2021). We will work in the months with little rainfall, where the growing of the streams is minimal. This will allow us to optimally manipulate amphibians and their habitats. We will first capture several individuals of the species, then we will isolate and cultivate the Jliv bacterium from wild populations in laboratory. Then, we will establish a protocol for the inoculation of the bacteria in the captured specimens, in different solutions, and then release them in farms temporarily installed in the streams. We will test the amphibians to detect the chytrid fungus, before, during and after the tests. After five weeks we will evaluate the effectiveness of the bacteria against the fungus, performing statistical analyzes. We will prepare the final report with the results to be supported in national and international scientific events. We will also publish the results in scientific journals.

This project is part of a postgraduate thesis at the La Molina National Agrarian University in Lima, Peru in the Applied Ecology career. Likewise, it is part of the Ultu Project: Program for the Conservation of Endangered Amphibians of the Central Andes of Peru, with long-term objectives that involve monitoring threatened amphibian species and promoting the conservation of their habitats (ProFauna 2021).

We are seeking for patrons and potentials donors to this initiative; we thank in advance all the help we may have.

Monitoreando poblaciones (Photo by Victor Vargas)