We currently have several projects at Kinabalu park. The start of 2016 was mostly devoted to setting up our sites, figuring out our survey protocol, collecting habitat data and performing visual encounter surveys. The project runs under the title “Optimal Monitoring and detection of amphibians on Mount Kinabalu” and we fit several projects under the heading. If you want to know who else is involved with the project please visit our “People” page.
We are working with previous data as well as with our newly collected data to develop some new equations, for example how to divide your time between sites, we are also checking how accurate our predictions are from these new equations using the old data to predict and checking their accuracy with the new more extensive dataset.
Ecological Habitat Requirements of Ansonia platysoma
Ansonia platysoma is a small stream toad that is currently listed as Endangered by IUCN based on the small number of sites it is known to occur in (three: Kinabalu Park, Crocker Ranges National Park and Gunung Mulu National Park) and its dependance on pristine habitat. As the parks are quite far from each other with no interconnecting pristine habitat the known sub-populations are unlikely to interbreed. All three known population groups are within protected habitats, but we are lacking information on specific habitat requirements (as well as life history data, behaviour data etc). A successful monitoring project of a species includes figuring out why a species exist in certain sites, it leads to an increased chance of finding new populations as well as being able to monitor any possible changes to the habitat. We have thereby collected ecological data from areas that this species is known to occur in as well as areas where it is not present to figure out why it prefers certain areas. This work is funded by the Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund.
Species compositional shift with altitude
The composition of species as well as the number of species has been shown to shift as altitude increases. We are investigating this phenomena and trying to understand how these shifts work in amphibians. Nicole Skiba, a visiting MSc student from Anglia Ruskin University, is working on analysing this data using bayesian techniques.
Automated Acoustic Monitoring
In September 2016 we should start to deploy our new acoustic monitor stations. The data from this project should help not only in answering ecological questions about our species, but in establishing how automated monitoring units compare to our more classical survey techniques such as visual encounter surveys. This project is funded by the National Geographic Society.
Press the link below if you want to hear one of our calling frogs!