With only about 1 week of the expedition left to go, we all can’t believe how quickly the last 2 months have passed! Our frog projects are now almost complete, and are making use of laboratory space at the University of the West Indies to investigate two aspects of the behaviour of Trinidad’s native frog species.
Kirsty’s project is investigating the heights climbed by three different species of tree frog and some of their nocturnal behaviours, such as returning to ground level and taking refuge in water. She has been visiting several sites around the island to collect frogs to use in the experiment, including the ponds around the William Beebe Tropical Research Station and Lopinot village in the Northern Range.
Zoe’s project is looking at how the early life experiences affect the development of personality in the Tùngara frog. In practice, this involves providing different amounts of food to the developing tadpoles and then measuring their activity levels, exploratory behaviours and risk-taking tendencies. She is testing these traits by filming their behaviour in specially-designed tanks and mazes during the tadpole stage and after they metamorphose.
All of the frogs and tadpoles used in both of the experiments will be released back into the exact location they were found once the projects are complete to help preserve the wild populations!