Scrotum Frog or Telmatobius culeus mostly recognised as Titicaca water frog is an endangered species of frogs & also one of the world’s largest exclusive aquatic frogs.
This species of frog is commonly seen in the Lake Titicaca basin and connected rivers. Due to human waste, pollution from mining and agriculture etc IUCN has declared this Lake Titicaca Frog as an endangered species owing to its drastically diminishing population.
Several reasons together contribute to the deteriorating status of the Titicaca water frog. The genus of Telmatobius is highly threatened. Let’s have a look at the few most vital reasons for the precarious status & threats possessed to these species.
Heavy Pollution and Mass Extinction:
Pollution from various sources like human waste, mining and agricultural regions are all-together creating hazardous conditions for these frogs. As they breathe or respire through skin surfaces, they absorb the chemicals present in the water. Also, due to algal blooms the level of oxygen goes down in the lake. This leads to asphyxiation of the fully aquatic frogs.
Since 2015, a large number of mass losses has also been observed in the Lake Titicaca Frog.
Capture for Food:
The “ scrotum frogs” are consumed as a traditional food or blended drink. These species are claimed to be aphrodisiac so it is used as a traditional medicine to cure diseases like TB, anaemia, infertility, asthma etc. A small number of frogs have also been exported to foreign countries for the pet trade, food or frog leather (skin).
Also, various other factors participate in the extinction of these frog species such as the introduction of trout and so on. Well, now we will have a look at the conservation measures taken by the scientists to save their lives.
Conservation Measures by the Scientists:
A team has been created by professionals from Bolivia’s Science Museum, Peru’s Cayetano Heredia University, Ecuador’s Pontifical Catholic University, the country’s Natural History Museum, Denver Zoo in the US and the NGO NaturalWay.
So, these five scientific institutions are together coming up to preserve the threatened species of Lake Titicaca Frog. The scientists will together study and research the habitat of the Lake Titicaca giant frogs. Additionally, they are going to carry out a genetic analysis to exactly infer how to best safeguard the species.
The government of Peru and Bolivia has initiated projects to resolve the environmental issues of Lake Titicaca. These conservation projects have been started with the motive to find out the reasons for mass demolition. They also contribute to population monitoring, and steps to reduce their demand for traditional foods and so much more!
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