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  • Writer's pictureLuis A Mazariegos

2013 - New Species Discovery

Updated: Jan 23, 2018

The year 2013 was the beginning of a series of interesting discoveries at the Mesenia-Paramillo nature reserve. We new the area had an incredible biodiversity and possible full of surprises.

During a visit to a forest at 2800 meters a bright red frog was found. It certainly called our attention and we contacted a Colombian expert, Professor Adolfo Amezquita, from the Universidad de los Andes. It turned out to be a new species of poison dart frog which was described and published in Zootaxa 3620 (1): 163–178). This new species is characterized by their unique color patterns in their belly. To further confirm this new species, saliva samples were taken and molecular analysis done to compare to other species of the same genus, confirming its uniqueness.

Above, the poison dart frog, Andinobates cassidyhornae, This specific epithet cassidyhornae is a patronym in honor of Cassidy Horn, for her passionate interest in poison frogs and her generous contributions to the conservation of cloud forests in Colombia.

The poorly studied poison frogs of the Colombian Andes were recently placed in a new genus: Andinobates. All species of this species are considered endangered and require more studies and conservation initiatives.

In August 2013, scientists at the Smithsonian in Washington announced the discovery of a new species of mammal called the Olinguito (Bassaricyon neblina) Zookeys. 2013; (324): 1–83. The olinguito is the first mammalian carnivore species to be newly identified in the Americas in 35 years.

Incredibly enough, an Olinguito cub and its mother (photos below) had been photographed at the Mesenia -Paramillo reserve in 2011 by one of our park rangers.

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