Virginia Moreno Puig

Doctor of Philosophy, (Conservation Biology)
Study Completed: 2016
College of Sciences


Thesis Title
Conservation of the critically endangered frog Telmatobufo bullocki in fragmented temperate forests of Chile

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

Amphibians are suffering population declines and extinctions worldwide due to several human-induced threats. Ms Moreno Puig’s research focused on the conservation biology of one of the most endangered frog species in the world, Telmatobufo bullocki, in fragmented temperate forests of central-south Chile. Through the use of several modern conservation techniques including species distribution modelling, radio-tracking, conservation genetics, and landscape genetics, she examined the species'' ecology, main threats, and current population status to aid conservation and management. Habitat loss and fragmentation by exotic forestry plantations, and global climate change were both identified as major threats. T. bullocki was found to have complex habitat requirements, using both stream and terrestrial habitat through their annual cycle. Genetics revealed significant population structure, while a landscape genetics approach identified streams and riparian areas as potential corridors. Therefore, management should strive to maintain habitat connectivity through the establishment and protection of a riparian native forest network.

Professor Dianne Brunton
Professor Phil Bishop
Associate Professor Weihong Ji

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