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Target Species: Mata mata turtle Chelus fimbriatus, and Kaieteur golden dart-poison frog, Colostethus beebei.
Location: Iwokrama Reserve, Kaieteur Falls and Karanambo, Guyana
Director: Hugo Smith


Location: Guyana is the only English-speaking, former British colony on the South American mainland (Belize is in Central America).

Mission Statement:

In 1993 Mark conducted an herpetological survey in Guyana but now he has been invited back to investigate the herpetofauna of the huge Iwokrama Biological Reserve, one of the largest biological reserves in South America. Mark is keen to capture, identify and photograph as many species of amphibians and reptiles as possible, including dwarf caiman in roadside creeks at night, but must take care of electric eels in the same locations. The quest to find and photograph two particular species, the Kaieteur golden dart-poison frog Colostethus beebei and the amazing Mata mata turtle, Chelus fimbriatus, takes him outside the reserve, first to the 720ft Kaieteur falls and then to Karanambo on the Rupununi River where American, Diane McTurk is working to conserve the giant 6ft (2m) river otter.


A foolish grin from the world's oddest turtle, the Mata mata (Chelus fimbriatus), note the tubercles and proboscis snout.

Species recorded during 'Back to the Jungle'

Species Common Name
BUFONIDAE TRUE TOADS
Bufo marinus Marine toad
Bufo typhonius South American toad
DENDROBATIDAE DART-POISON FROGS
Colostethus beebei Kaieteur golden rocket frog
HYLIDAE TREEFROGS
Hyla boans Rusty treefrog
Scinax rubra Banana treefrog
PSEUDIDAE PARADOXICAL FROGS
Lysapsus limellus Harlequin frog
CHELIDAE AUSTRALO-AMERICAN SIDE-NECK TURTLES
Chelus fimbratus Mata mata
BATAGURIDAE HARD-SHELLED TURTLES
Rhinoclemmys punctularia Spotted forest turtle
TESTUDINIDAE TORTOISES
Geochelone denticulata Yellow-foot tortoise
ALLIGATORIDAE ALLIGATORS & CAIMAN
Melanosuchus niger Black caiman
Paleosuchus palpebrosus Cuvier's dwarf caiman
GEKKONIDAE GECKOES
Gonatodes humeralis Common bent-toed gecko
Hemidactylus mabouia Cosmopolitan house gecko
GYMNOPHTHALMIDAE MICROTEIIDS
Leposoma percarinatum Water teiid
IGUANIDAE IGUANAS
Iguana iguana iguana South American green iguana
TEIIDAE MACROTEIIDS
Ameiva ameiva ameiva Common ameiva
Tupinambis teguxin Black & white tegu
TROPIDURIDAE LAVA & TREE LIZARDS
Tropidurus hispidus Lava lizard
Uranoscodon superciliosum Mop-headed iguanid
BOIDAE BOAS
Corallus hortulanus Amazonian tree boa
Eunectes murinus Common green anaconda
COLUBRIDAE TYPICAL SNAKES
Erythrolamprus aesculapii aesculapii False coralsnake
Philodryas viridissimus Parrot snake

 


Location: The Iwokrama Biological Reserve in central Guyana is one of the largest and richest tracts of protected pristine rainforest.

 


Kaieteur Falls, Guyana, 50ft (15m) across 721ft (216m) in a straight drop, the highest single drop falls in the world.

 

 


A close view of the Kaieteur golden dart-poison frog (Colostethus beebei) which inhabits bromeliads on the top of the falls.

 

 


O'Shea with a Mata mata turtle (Chelus fimbriatus) on a tributary of the Rupununi River.

 

 


O'Shea with a giant Marine toad (Bufo marinus) in the Iwokrama Biological Reserve.

 

 


O'Shea with a Cuvier's dwarf caiman (Paleosuchus palpebrosus) which inhabit road-side creeks in the Iwokrama Reserve.

 


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