Consequences of Human Land Use on the Genomes of Amphibians
An article in the Amigos Newsletter by Luke Frishkoff
"Tchx tchx tchx. Off to the left. Maybe 5 meters. Beyond two rows of coffee plants. I stand still hoping for another sound to break the serenity of the coffee plantation at dusk. Tchx tchx tchx. There it was again. I carefully duck below coffee bushes, never-the-less bumping the branches,
spraying remnant droplets of water from the afternoon rain storm over myself. Was the sound coming from this plant? I quickly scan the upper surfaces of the leaves, probing for the source. Nothing. Need another sound to hone in. I try to imitate the call, hoping to elicit a response.
“Tchx tchx tchx”, I say. Nothing. It was a poor imitation... but the sound was definitely coming from this plant. Has to be. I start scanning up the branches and over the stems. I swear it’s somewhere here. Tchx tchx tchx. There! My quarry sits on a branch of the coffee plant partially concealed by leaves, a full two plants over from the one I was futilely searching. The small brown frog freezes, head elevated, prepared to emit another call in the Costa Rican night. Before he can escape I strike—with a combination of speed and gentleness my hand envelops the frog, creating a small enclosure within my fist. Success! First captured frog of the evening.