Lake Titicaca Frog – Scientists Join Forces to Save Species

Scrotum Frog or Telmatobius coleus mostly recognized as the Titicaca water frog is an endangered species of frog & 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. Threats highly endanger the Telmatobius genus. Let’s examine the few most crucial reasons causing the precarious status and threats these species face.

Lake Titicaca Frog - Scientists Join Forces to Save 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, we have observed a large number of mass losses in the Lake Titicaca Frog.

Lake Titicaca Frog - Scientists Join Forces to Save Species

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, anemia, 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 scientists to save their lives.

Lake Titicaca Frog - Scientists Join Forces to Save Species

Conservation Measures by the Scientists: 

Professionals from Bolivia’s Science Museum have created a team, 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 collaborating to preserve the threatened species of the 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 Peru and Bolivia government has initiated projects to resolve Lake Titicaca’s environmental issues. 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!  

Discover more on one of our tours to Lake Titicaca:

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