Alejandro Arteaga Follow Alejandro Arteaga on Instagram

President, Research Director

Alejandro Arteaga is an Ecuadorian–Venezuelan biologist, conservationist, and wildlife photographer. He is the President and Research Director of Khamai Foundation, a non-governmental organization (NGO) created in 2022 to rewild heavily threatened biodiversity areas, promote research and conservation of tropical biodiversity, and help mitigate the effects of global warming. In 2009, Alejandro co-founded Tropical Herping, a tour agency that offers nature photography trips and herpetological tours throughout the tropics. In 2015, he obtained his biology degree from Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador. He is author of three books (Reptiles of Ecuador, Reptiles of the Galápagos, and The Amphibians and Reptiles of Mindo) and 21 scientific articles. He has discovered and described 23 new species to science and raised funds to save 106 hectares of Chocó rainforest in Ecuador. In 2015, he was awarded in the Big Picture Natural World Photography competition. In 2021, Alejandro’s project Rescue mission for 13 “lost” harlequin toads in Ecuador in Ecuador was awarded funding by Discovery and The Explorers Club.

Alejandro’s research is focused on systematics and biogeography of tropical amphibians and reptiles, but it also targets citizen-science projects for identifying species in the field, either visually using deep learning algorithms or genetically through real-time DNA barcoding. He is currently leading three long-term projects that straddle the line between research and conservation: Rapid-Response Discovery of Rainfrogs, Reptiles of Ecuador, and Guardians of the Pinocchio Lizard.

Furcifer pardalis
Eunectes murinus
Cruziohyla craspedopus
Ranitomeya ventrimaculata
Hyloscirtus lindae
Echinosaura horrida
Trioceros jacksonii
Phyllomedusa tarsius
Spilotes pullatus
Anolis proboscis
Amblyrhynchus cristatus
Centrolene heloderma
Gonatodes albogularis
Pristimantis gralarias
Enyalioides oshaughnessyi
Uroplatus phantasticus
Atheris squamigera
Calumma parsonii
New species described

23

New species described

Hectares of rainforest saved

106

Hectares of rainforest saved

Books published

2

Books published

Attack by tapir

1

Attack by tapir

Minutes blinded by frog’s toxins

40

Minutes blinded by frog’s toxins

Leeches extracted

6

Leeches extracted

Behind the scenes

Alejandro spends most of his time exploring tropical forests around the world, photographing amphibians and reptiles, and searching for new species. At the office, he likes to write herpetological field guides or scientific papers on ecology, systematics, and biogeography.

Alejandro Arteaga showing the ventral aspect of a poison frog
Alejandro Arteaga at the AMNH
Alejandro Arteaga and Valeria Sorgato during an expedition to the unexplored Nangaritza river, Ecuador
Expedition team to Yasuní River, Ecuador
Alejandro Arteaga approaching a sleeping sloth in Bocas del Toro, Panama
Alejandro Arteaga holding a frog in Tambopata, Peru
Photography team in the Cordillera del Cóndor, Ecuador
Alejandro Arteaga swabbing a frog for chytrid fungus in Sangay National Park, Ecuador
lejandro Arteaga preparing the gear for an expedition