Fundación Moscoso Puello, Inc. (FMP)

Leading the conservation movement in the Madre de las Aguas region of the Dominican Republic, Fundación Moscoso Puello (FMP) is highly committed to the conservation and management of the Valle Nuevo Scientific Reserve and have also established programs in the Armando Bermúdez National Park. FMP is working with the Conservancy and other local organizations to classify and analyze freshwater systems, assess the health of the natural resources and the effects of increased rural development and agriculture. Complementing this research, FMP is working to create a National Conservation Training Center to build a strong network of biological researchers and protected area managers. The organization boasts an outstanding Board of Directors and has successfully maintained excellent relations with local and international scientific organizations such as the National Geography Society, the National Science Foundation and the University of Tennessee.

Executive Director: Andrés Ferrer
Address: Santo Domingo, República Dominicana
Telephone: (1-809) 566-8404
Fax: (1-809) 567-9622
Email: ajfa.fundacion@codetel.net.do


PRONATURA

Pronatura has been an important partner of TNC since the beginning of the Parks in Peril Program. It has successfully managed multifaceted projects and has successfully generated interest and support for its programs. In collaboration with other local organizations and government agencies, Pronatura is working to establish water quality and reef health monitoring programs, and promoting recommendations for a zoning plan for tourism and fisheries in the park. These recommendations are complemented by the encouragement of community participation in park stewardship and locally based ecotourism activities.

Executive Director: Licenciada Arlette Pichardo
Address: Santo Domingo, República Dominicana
Telephone: (809) 687-5609, 687-5878 VINS. Rimmer project, field guide
Fax: (809) 687-5766
Email: pronatura@codetel.net.do
Web page: http://www.pronatura.org.mx/english/index_en.html
Av. Maximo Gomez esq.
San Martin, Ed. Metropolitano 3 piso,
Ap. Postal 22036, Santo Domingo, República Dominicana
Contact: Jesús Almonte fund.progressio@codetel.net.do

 

CARIBBEAN BIODIVERSITY STUDIES, NSF Funded

Survey of Terrestrial Mollusca and Diplopoda (Millipedes) of Jamaica
Start Date
September 15, 1998
Expires
August 2001

Investigator
Gary Rosenberg rosenberg@acnatsci.org (Principal Investigator current)
Sponsor
Acad of Nat Sci of Phila
1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Philadelphia, PA 191031195 / -
NSF Program
1198 BIOTIC SURVEYS AND INVENTORIES

Abstract
9870233 Rosenberg The terrestrial mollusk and millipede faunas of Jamaica will be intensively sampled, along with other soil and leaf litter invertebrates. About 550 described species of snails and slugs are recorded from Jamaica, of which 505 (92%) are endemic, occurring nowhere else in the world. About 52 described species of millipedes are recorded, of which 48 (92%) are endemic. The mollusk fauna of Jamaica is as diverse as any in the world, and it is largely extant, unlike the mostly extinct terrestrial mollusk faunas of oceanic islands in the Pacific. Although less than 20% of the original forest cover of Jamaica remains, and deforestation continues, patches of forest survive in many areas too rugged for agriculture, and secondary forest has also grown in many abandoned plantations. Even among Jamaican birds and reptiles, only a few species have gone extinct, so it may still be possible to sample a large portion of the island's original invertebrate fauna; however, the window of opportunity is rapidly disappearing. Collections resulting from this research should at least double the millipede fauna and increase the mollusk fauna by around 25%. Other invertebrates will be made available to specialists who have agreed to study Coleoptera (beetles), Orthoptera (crickets, cockroaches), Hymenoptera (ants), Arachnida (spiders, scorpions, pseudoscorpions) and Onychophora (peripatus). Residues from sorting will be preserved for further processing for Acari (mites), Collembola (springtails), etc. The proposed research will be the most extensive sampling of invertebrates ever performed in Jamaica, with 180 field days over three years. Sampling methods will include hand picking, leaf litter and soil sampling, and pitfall trapping. An estimated 1,000,000 specimens will be collected, including 14,000 lots of mollusks (sorted to species) and 14,000 lots of arthropods (sorted more or less to ordinal level). Hundreds of new species are likely to be discovered. Knowledge of species-level biodiversity and site-specific ecological data will provide a baseline for future researchers studying systematics and evolution, faunal distribution patterns, factors influencing diversity, and conservation and restoration biology. Collection data for all material will be published on WWW, as will distribution maps and identification guides for all known species of Jamaican terrestrial mollusks, and lists of other Jamaican terrestrial invertebrates.


Survey of Orthopteroid Insects of Hispaniola

Start Date
August 2001
Expires
July 2004

Investigator
Daniel Otte otte@say.acnatsci.org (Principal Investigator current)
Daniel Perez-Gelabert (Co-Principal Investigator current)
Sponsor
Acad of Nat Sci of Phila
1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Philadelphia, PA 191031195 / - Abstract
Survey of Orthopteroid Insects of Hispaniola
The rapidly expanding human population is putting great pressure on the Hispaniolan forests and other natural areas. Many species have probably gone extinct. Others are endangered. This project will assist in the biotic inventory of insects by intensively surveying the orthopteroid insects (crickets, katydids, grasshoppers, cockroaches, mantids, and stick insects). Despite their ubiquitous presence and significance in agriculture, the orthopteroids are poorly known in Hispaniola.
The specific goals of the project are to sample a variety of habitats with special emphasis on the mountain reserve areas, identify the known species, describe and name the species not yet known to science, provide keys on the internet to identify the species (and information on the habitats and distributions of species), and collaborate with local biologists in building an infrastructure for future Hispaniolan entomological research.
The oldest parts of Hispaniola are about 105 million years old. Because of its age and proximity to the rich Neotropical biota, Hispaniola has the third highest plant diversity of the world's oceanic islands. It is expected that the insect diversity, once known, will be huge, perhaps comparable to that of the continental tropics. The total number of recorded Orthopteroids from Hispaniola is 238; however, the actual number may be as much as six times the number presently known.
Because of the pioneering use of the internet to provide taxonomic information, this project will almost immediately benefit the local infrastructure of biodiversity studies in Hispaniola and will help to promote entomological research. The principal vehicle for communicating the results will be an existing global taxonomic database to orthopteroid insects (Orthoptera Species File Online:
http://viceroy.eeb.uconn.edu/orthoptera).


Basidiomycetes of Neotropical Pine Forests:
Connections Between a Possible Refugium in Belize and Endemic Pine Forests in the Dominican Republic
Start Date
August 1, 2001
Expires
July 31, 2004 (Estimated)
Investigator
Timothy J. Baroni baronitj@cortland.edu (Principal Investigator current)
Orson K. Miller (Co-Principal Investigator current)
D. Jean Lodge (Co-Principal Investigator current)
Leif Ryvarden (Co-Principal Investigator current)
Joaquin Cifuentes (Co-Principal Investigator current)
Sponsor
SUNY Cortland
P O BOX 2000
Cortland, NY 13045 607/753-2201
NSF Program
1198 BIOTIC SURVEYS AND INVENTORIES

Abstract
An international team of mycologists (experts on fungal diversity), led by Dr. Timothy Baroni of SUNY-Cortland, is surveying the fleshy fungi (mushrooms, boletes, polypores, puffballs, crust fungi) associated with neotropical pine forests. The investigation will concentrate on the beneficial symbionts of pine roots, which are mostly boletes and mushrooms known as ectomycorrhizal fungi. Some previous work in the Dominican Republic with the endemic pine forests (Pinus occidentalis) has revealed many undescribed species of fleshy fungi and at least some of these species are clearly related to ectotrophic mushrooms (root symbionts) from western and northwestern North America. Because tree hosts and fungal symbionts are tightly associated, it is difficult to explain the presence of these widely separated populations of fungal species from northwestern North America and the Dominican Republic. One plausible explanation is to consider a historical migratory route for pines and their fungal symbionts along a corridor extending from the Rocky Mountains through the Sierrra Madre Occidental into the geologically ancient (for this part of the world) Mountain Pine Ridge and Cockscomb Mountain zones of Belize in Central America. This migratory route established a southern most source, a refugium, for these island hopping symbionts which could have been carried to Hispaniola from Belize and/or neighboring countries in Central America due in part perhaps to late season hurricane activity.
Late season hurricanes in this region tend to produce easterly moving storms. These storms could have and still may carry seeds and fungal spores to Hispaniola and other islands in the Caribbean. Because the pine in the Dominican Republic is endemic and the only native pine to this island, and appears to be related to Central American pines, the hypothesized transport event likely occurred in the distant past. Inventory collecting in the possible fungal refugium in the Mountain Pine Ridge and Cockscomb Mountain zones in Belize is central to the study. This area is significantly older geologically than much of the rest of Central America (100-400 MY vs. 3-5 MY). It is also believed that these mountains remained above water as "islands" when sea levels rose in the past. Therefore, because of the possible long-term isolation, this region has the potential to harbor a significant number of new species of fungi, especially since this area has never been thoroughly surveyed. Data on undescribed amphibians from the area tends to support this view. The fungal symbionts of Belizian pines should be similar to or show close relationships with species from western and northwestern North America, and also be similar to some of the species from the Dominican Republic. The Dominican Republic will also be the focus of further mycological survey work and study. It appears to be a nexus of migratory paths for fungi, showing species from eastern North America, the Lesser Antilles and from South America as well as those recently found from western and northwestern North America. The survey is likely to cover 1000 to 1500 species from a broad spectrum of basidiomycetes (12 orders, 36 families, over 300 genera). Based on previous results, the team expects to discover approximately 20% to perhaps 30% new taxa. In addition to species descriptions and range distributions, published in the specialist literature, summaries of the results and materials (including selected color photographs for identification by amateurs and "mushroom hunters") will be made available to individuals in the ecotourism industry in Belize and the Dominican Republic.