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The Amazon Rainforests of Yasuni National Park, Ecuador and its world record biodiversity face an uncertain future at the hands of oil extraction! more info here



Phyllomedusa vaillantii, Tiputini Biodiversity Station, Rio Tiputini, Ecuador.


Eleutherodactylus aureolineatus, new canopy species, Tiputini Biodiversity Station, Rio Tiputini, Ecuador.


Orchid, Tiputini Biodiversity Station, Rio Tiputini, Ecuador.


Maxus road bridge crossing Tiputini river, Rio Tiputini, Ecuador.


Synapturanus rabus, Tiputini Biodiversity Station, Rio Tiputini, Ecuador.


Owl moth larvae, Tiputini Biodiversity Station, Rio Tiputini, Ecuador.


Dendrobates ventrimaculatus, Tiputini Biodiversity Station, Rio Tiputini, Ecuador.


Rio Tiputini, Ecuador


Hyla fasciata, Tiputini Biodiversity Station, Rio Tiputini, Ecuador.


Eumastid grasshopper, Tiputini Biodiversity Station, Rio Tiputini, Ecuador.


Physalaemus petersi, Tiputini Biodiversity Station, Rio Tiputini, Ecuador.


Tiputini Biodiversity Station, stairs from Rio Tiputini leading up to the station, Rio Tiputini, Ecuador


Dipsas catesbyi, Tiputini Biodiversity Station, Rio Tiputini Ecuador.






Tropical Amphibian Distribution and Population Operation for Life-saving Efforts - is a non-profit organization dedicated to informing and educating the public regarding our obligation to protect and preserve the Amazon’s amphibian species.

In order to continue our research efforts and public outreach we depend on the support of a concerned public. Please show your support by donating now.


The recent detection of the deadly amphibian disease, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (amphibian chytrid fungus), by TADPOLE researchers and colleagues in Amazonian Ecuador has us very alarmed. This pathogen is already responsible for widespread amphibian deaths and likely extinction of several species elsewhere on the planet. We currently don't know what impact, if any, this disease has had in the Amazon. However, this study was initiated as a result of the discovery of a symptomatic frog at the Tiputini Biodiversity Station in eastern Ecuador on the border of Yasuni National Park. We need your support to continue our monitoring efforts here and elsewhere in Amazonia. Please donate today by clicking the link above.


Scientists Identify Ecuador's Yasuni National Park as One of Most Biodiverse Places on Earth

Researchers with the TADPOLE Organization contributed to a new study published this week in the journal PLoS ONE. The study finds that Yasuni National Park in Ecuador is home to the most diverse array of plants and animals in South America and possibly the planet.

- "The 150 amphibian species documented to date throughout Yasuni; is a world record for an area of this size," said Shawn McCracken of TADPOLE and Texas State University. "There are more species of frogs and toads within Yasuni; than are native to the United States and Canada combined."

Please take a look at the article or some of the press:





- Ecuador’s Yasuni Biosphere Reserve: a brief modern history and conservation challenges
New manuscript in Environmental Research Letters by Dr. Matt Finer of Save Americas Forests and co-authors. This is a must read for anyone who wants to be informed about the challenges facing the most biologically diverse area on the planet.

JUNE 2009' PDF link

- TADPOLE researchers publish a new study documenting the first detection of the deadly amphibian chytrid fungus in amphibians of the Amazon
The results of this study were startling, and the implications of the presence of this pathogen in Amazonian Ecuador are currently unknown. Not only was this the first detection of the amphibian chytrid fungus in Amazonia, but its detection on canopy inhabiting amphibians was a first as well. This study was actually initiated when a symptomatic frog was found at our long-term monitoring site - the Tiputini Biodiversity Station in Ecuador.
Published in Herpetological Review
TITLE: Detection of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in amphibians from the forest floor to the upper canopy of an Ecuadorian Amazon lowland rainforest


- TADPOLE received a generous donation from Enterprise Rent-A-Car and their employees in Austin, Texas
Part of the funds from this wonderful gift will go towards the purchase and maintenance of a new weather monitoring station at the Tiputini Biodiversity Station in Ecuador. This location is TADPOLE's first long-term amphibian monitoring site. The addition of this weather station will allow for the collection of meteorological data important to our monitoring efforts and those of many other researchers working there. It will also provide much needed data for monitoring climate change in this unique and remote location in the Western Amazon.

AUGUST 2008'

- Oil and Gas Projects in the Western Amazon: Threats to Wilderness, Biodiversity, and Indigenous Peoples
New study in Plos ONE scientific journal by Dr. Matt Finer of Save Americas Forests and co-authors reveals impending environmental and social threats in the mega-diverse Western Amazon Basin.

JUNE 2008' PDF link

- TADPOLE researchers publish new technique for sampling amphibians and reptiles in the canopy bromeliads
Published in Herpetological Review
TITLE: Bromeliad patch sampling technique for canopy herpetofauna in neotropical forests


-Amazonal Audio Track Available (click to download)
Listen to a sunset chorus with a tribal twist recorded at a lake along the Tiputini River. Let us know what you think. Enjoy!

JUNE 2007'

-TADPOLE researchers describe new species of canopy dwelling frog of the genus Eleutherodactylus (Pristimantis)
Published in Phyllomedusa - Journal of Herpetology
TITLE: A new species of the Eleutherodactylus lacrimosus assemblage (Anura, Brachycephalidae) from the lowland rainforest canopy of Yasuni National Park, Amazonian Ecuador


-Proposal to not devolop the ITT oil field in Yasuni National Park by Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa
The largest oil reserve in Ecuador will not be developed if Ecuador is compensated for leaving the oil in the ground and preserving the incredible biodiversity of Yasuni National Park. This is an unprecedented opportunity to preserve the most biologically diverse forest on our planet. TADPOLE supports this campaign and encourages you to do the same. Please learn how you can help, visit these sites and contribute:

Save Americas Forests - Yasuni campaign

Live Yasuni

Amazon Watch


-TADPOLE researchers publish ecological findings on the new species, Eleutherodactylus aureolineatus
Published in Phyllomedusa - Journal of Neotropical Herpetology
TITLE: Reproductive ecology and behavior of Eleutherodactylus aureolineatus (Anura, Brachycephalidae) in the canopy of the Upper Amazon Basin, Ecuador


-TADPOLE research contributes to a unique new species description
Published in the journal Herpetologica
TITLE: A new species of frog of the Eleutherodactylus lacrimosus assemblage (Leptodactylidae) from the Western Amazon Basin, with comments on the utility of canopy surveys in lowland rainforests


-TADPOLE researchers conduct a fourth season of surveys at the Tiputini Biodiversity Station - Yasuní N.P., Ecuador
The field season was very productive with a total of 69 species of amphibians and reptiles observed for a total of 320 individual observations. We had several new species encounters this season. A limited number of surveys were conducted due to a short field season, resulting from a lack of funding this year.

Since our last visit, development along the Maxus road in Block 16 has increased noticeably. Our research team witnessed significant deforstation and development in the short time between entering and leaving the field site along the road. An unprecidented amount of boat traffic and trash was seen in the Tiputini River as oil exploration activity downstream increases. The Chinese oil consortium, Andes Petroleum, is conducting 3D seismic testing in Block 14 which is within Yasuni National Park. They have established a base camp in the park and flagging tape can be seen along the river where entrances exist to the transect grid. Helicopter traffic was also a daily occurrence. In our four years of working in the region we have never observed near this level of disturbance.

Huge Victory for Yasuni! Petrobras road cancelled by Ecuadorian government!

(see below)

MARCH 2006'

An assembly of the Organization of the Waorani Nationality of the Ecuadorian Amazonía (ONWAE) resolved not to honor the contract signed by ex-president, Armando Boya, with the NGO Ecuadorian Sustainable Development Fund (FED). According to the public usufruct agreement, ONWAE gave usufruct rights of 793,000 hectares of their territory to American citizen Daniel Roscom.

- Yasuni News Page - The organization Save America's Forests now has a Yasuni news page where you can get the latest happenings involving Yasuni National Park - Ecuador.

MARCH 2006'

Petrobras To Give Up Fight To Build Oil Access Road Into Yasuni National Park
The latest reports coming out of Ecuador indicate that Petrobras, the Brazilian National Oil Company, is abandoning its plans to build an oil access road into Yasuni National Park. This news is a tremendous boost to an international coalition of environmental groups and scientists from all over the world who have been working for over a year to stop the Petrobras road.

January 2006'

- Widespread amphibian extinctions from epidemic disease driven by global warming - Global warming may cause widespread amphibian extinctions by triggering lethal epidemics, a new study reports. See National Geographic report, too.

Summer 2005'

- Petrobras Road Halted by Ecuadorian Government - the Ecuadorian Environment Ministry has halted the construction of a new oil road by Petrobas into Yasuni National Park and the Huaorani elect a new, anti-oil government.

March 2005'

-Yasuní Rainforest Campaign - Save America's Forests - the most biodiverse forest in the world. A must visit for current information on the plight of this unrivaled forest. Check out this site and view the slide show which illustrates the immense biodiversity of Yasuni, and the looming threats from oil development. With oil maps and pictures of animals and plants.

February 2005'

- World's top biologists say new oil road threatens one of world's richest rainforests
The renowned Yasuni National Park and Biosphere Reserve, located in the heart the Ecuadorian Amazon, is seriously threatened by a proposed new oil road, according to two letters from top biologists released today. The letters address an unfolding situation in which the Brazilian national oil company Petrobras is preparing to build a new access road into the heart of the Park to access several drilling platforms.

- Biologists Oppose Road Planned by Oil Company in Ecuador Park
NEW YORK TIMES - Andrew C. Revkin
Some of the world's leading tropical biologists are calling for a halt to oil company road-building projects in and around Yasuní National Park in Ecuador, an Amazon tract harboring an extraordinary array of plant species and rare wildlife...

- Clandestine Oil Road Near Yasuní Park Found By Satellite
WASHINGTON, DC, February 16, 2005 (ENS) - A new wave of oil exploration and development now encroaching on one of the planet's great reservoirs of biodiversity - Ecuador’s Yasuní National Park - has scientists in Ecuador and the United States worried. An oil access road built by the Occidental Petroleum Corporation in the park's buffer zone has just been discovered by viewing satellite images. The Occidental road was built through primary rainforest, on the lands of an indigenous community.

- Save America's Forests Press Release about scientist letters and oil development threatening Yasuni Park and World Biosphere Reserve.

December 2004'

- Rainforest Scientists Oppose New Oil Road in Ecuadorian Amazon
YASUNI NATIONAL PARK, Ecuador, December 1, 2004 (ENS) - Fifty international rainforest scientists declared their strong opposition to the construction of a new oil road into Ecuador’s Yasuní National Park in a letter and report submitted this week to Ecuadorian President Lucio Gutiérrez. The scientists fear that penetration of the road into pristine forest areas will lead to species extinctions.
-TADPOLE President/Founder, Shawn McCracken, comments on amphibian diversity within Yasuní National Park.

November 2004'

-Scientists Concerned for Yasuní draft an open letter and technical report to the Presidents of Ecuador and Brazil and to the President of PetroBras detailing their opposition. With expertise in Amazonian primates, mammals, birds, plants, amphibians, satellite remote sensing, anthropology, economics, and other fields, a total of 59 scientists have signed on to the letter. Coming from Ecuador, Panama, Peru, Denmark, England, Germany, Greece, Scotland, Spain, and the United States, the scientists have recommended that Ecuador enact a law prohibiting road building to extract oil in its national parks and called on the implementation of roadless "offshore" drilling model in Yasuní for all oil extraction. See the letter and technical report here - english(pdf) or spanish (pdf).

October 2004'

- Global Amphibian Assessment released, more than one-third of all known amphibian species are threatened - see www.globalamphibians.org

- TADPOLE attends and presents at:

The 2nd Annual Ecuador Tropical Forest Research and Education Conference: Yasuní Day

Mindo, Ecuador Oct. 11-13

El Monte Sustainable Lodge and Mindo Biological Station


TADPOLE researchers presented the following:

Toward a GIS Model of AmphibianDiversity, Distribution and Density in Amazonia: Work from Yasuní National Park.

To see the presentation in Powerpoint or PDF click here.

During the conference, a working group was created to present the scientific communities findings on the biodiversity of the park. This group of concerned scientists hopes to limit further damage to the park and the incredible ecosystem contained within it's boundaries.

August 2004'

- New TADPOLE board member - Paul Herbertson, MSc., King's College London, GIS specialist

May-August 2004'

-TADPOLE Researchers conduct quadrat and bromeliad patch sampling at the Tiputini Biodiversity Station - Yasuní N.P., Ecuador

- Collaborative relationship with King's College London, MSc. student - Paul Herbertson and Dr. Mark Mulligan to create a GIS Model for amphibian distribution, density and diversity

April 2004'

-TADPOLE and B Environmental Art Studios with Friends holds one-day fundraiser to support summer research expedition. More than $ 3,000 raised.

- TADPOLE recieves official recognition from the Internal Revenue Service of satisfying the terms of the advance ruling and becomes a recognized 501(c)(3).

February-April 2003'

- Second field season at the Tiputini Biodiversity Station

September-December 2002'

- Initial field season at the Tiputini Biodiversity Station

February 1999'

- TADPOLE established as 501(c)(3) Non-profit Organization and recieves advanced ruling from the Internal Revenue Service



last updated: July 2007'
Warning: Unless otherwise indicated, all materials on these pages are copyrighted by the TADPOLE Organization. All rights reserved. All photographs by Bejat McCracken, unless otherwise indicated. No part of these pages, either text or image may be used for any purpose other than personal use. Therefore, reproduction, modification, storage in a retrieval system or retransmission, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical or otherwise, for reasons other than personal use, is strictly prohibited without prior written permission.
Copyright © 2001-2006 The TADPOLE Organization. All rights reserved.
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