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May 2016 Newsletter
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This Earth Day, you helped the forest protectors of tomorrow!  

Earth Day is a great reminder for us all of how crucial it is for us to take care of our planet and continue to learn more about it. With your support, we were able to do just that!

Together we raised over $1,000 in one week in honor of Earth Day! The funds raised will contribute to field research opportunities for Peruvian students at our biological stations, and provide needed lab equipment to help scientists on the ground conduct crucial conservation research.

Most Peruvian university students lack funding to pursue field research, so scholarships and field equipment fill a critical gap and help build a local community of active conservation scientists and practitioners. Thanks for your generosity!   

 

ACA researcher concerned about dramatic decline in rainforest frogs  

For two decades now, Alessandro Catenazzi, Ph.D., an assistant professor of zoology at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, has been using the ACA biological stations in the Peruvian rainforest to learn more about the frog population in the region.

Catenazzi and his colleagues have made several important discoveries that increase our understanding about amphibian diversity and threats, and help inform conservation priorities. One of these is that highland creek frogs are declining dramatically due to chytrid, a fungus considered the most significant threat to the world's amphibian populations. “I have memories of working there in the 1990’s and just walking along these creeks, and there were all these frogs calling and the pools were full of tadpoles,” he said during a recent interview with ACA. “Now the creeks are dead zones.” 
 
Another discovery found that lowland frog populations show little tolerance for climate change, where an increase of only two degrees Celsius could be problematic for their survival. Recent temperature trends recorded by Catenazzi and his team are alarming. “So far this year, temperatures in the rainforest have been off the charts,” Catenazzi noted. “And when you look at mathematical models predicting temperatures that the rainforest is expected to experience in the years ahead, the future for lowland rainforest frogs appears to be very bleak.” These findings provide still another reason why nations need to slow global warming, he stressed.

Through his many years studying the frog population in the Andes-Amazon, Catenazzi has given the scientific community and the public at large a greater understanding about the issues facing frog populations. For more information about Catenazzi's research, visit his blog at: http://www.catenazzilab.org/  


The Body Shop Foundation supports tarwi project in Peru  

Tarwi may not be a well-known legume in the US, but it is helping farmers in Peru not only sustain themselves financially, but also improve soil quality!

Thanks to extremely generous support from the The Body Shop Foundation, ACA has been working with local communities in the Andean highlands to plant and harvest tarwi on their land. Tarwi is an ancient Andean legume that has nitrogen-fixing properties, which can improve soil fertility and help reduce agricultural expansion, contributing toward the conservation of threatened highland forests. This means that farmers can plant it on degraded land and it will not only help restore the minerals in the soil, but will also be a good source of food to be consumed and sold. The crop has also been proven to deliver favorable returns for beneficiaries, as it has a strong local and regional market.
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The tarwi project supports the livelihoods of 31 farmers across these communities by providing them with important information and constant technical support to promote best practices for a productive tarwi harvest. Through this project, ACA is helping to strengthen the tarwi farmers' association Flor Azul ("Blue Flower" in English), referring to the crop's delicate blue flowers. Together, we have already successfully improved market access and created a rotating seed fund, which ensures healthy harvests in the future and is central to maintaining the vibrant agricultural and biological diversity for which the region is known.

                  
                                                                                                                                                                   
    

Copyright © 2016 Amazon Conservation Association, All rights reserved.



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