After finishing up our ecohydrological classification and physicochemical predictive modelling for the Napo Basin, I have now begun field work for my Rufford Small Grant for Conservation Project. We are trying to understand how replacement of a native stream fish (genus: Astroblepus)
by deliberately introduced nonnative rainbow trout can disrupt ecosystem function through alterations to stream nutrient cycles. We are also trying to better understand the life history of native fish communities in these streams by relating their abundance to physical and environmental factors. So far, we have worked in three different subwatersheds within the Napo- Papallacta, Oyacachi, and Cosanga.
Our results will directly inform conservation groups and stream managers here in Ecuador. Stay tuned for how this project develops.
This was by far the biggest worm I’ve ever seen. Pic was taken near Sierra Azul, in the Cosanga drainage.