Andrés Sánchez (Chile, 29 years old) has been working for 10 years in amphibian research and conservation, mainly on Darwin’s frogs. With a degree and teaching experience in Veterinary Sciences, a PhD in Conservation Medicine and many books and publications to his name, Andrés has shown great work ethic, passion and effort to incorporate local communities in research fieldwork and engage in educational activities in the field of conservation.
In 2014, Andrés co-founded a local NGO, Ranita de Darwin, which is the first Chilean non-profit organization devoted to Chilean amphibians and their habitats. In 2017, he co-organized a workshop to develop a conservation strategy for the Darwin’s frogs. The two species of Darwin’s frogs are in rapid decline, and have been recognized as ‘endangered’ by the Chilean law, after facing habitat loss, chytridiomycosis (fungus) and negative impacts of climate change.
With the Future For Nature Award, Andrés aims to perform a systematic survey to determine the current occupancy of both species across Chile and Argentina, to continue long-term monitoring of one species, which will provide information about the spatial and temporal dynamics of the populations in order to inform management and conservation. Furthermore, he will implement mitigation actions against chytridiomycosis, conduct a questionnaire to establish the knowledge, values and attitudes of local people in relation to this species and other amphibians. Lastly, he will start a public campaign to raise awareness about the Darwin frog and other amphibians by using social media and smartphone apps.