Sehuencas water frog
|Sehuencas water frog|
De la Riva, 1994
The Sehuencas water frog (Telmatobius yuracare) is a species of frog in the Telmatobiidae family. It is endemic to Bolivia. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist montane forests, rivers, and freshwater marshes. It is threatened by habitat loss. While it is currently listed as vulnerable by the IUCN, this is based on an assessment that has not been updated since 2004. No individuals had been encountered in the wild between 2008 and 2019.
Until 2019, there was just one captive individual called "Romeo" in Bolivia's Cochabamba Natural History Museum. There were fears that Romeo was the last of his kind, an endling. Romeo is 10 years old, and individuals of this species often do not live past age 15. Bolivian conservationists had long been looking for other Sehuencas water frog individuals, particularly females, in hopes of creating a captive breeding program. To raise awareness and money about the plight of the Sehuencas water frog, conservationists from Global Wildlife Conservation and the Bolivian Amphibian Initiative created a profile for Romeo on Match.com, an online dating website. In January 2019, an expedition to a Bolivian cloud forest led to the discovery of five more individuals: three males and two females. The re-discovered frogs will be treated against chytridiomycosis, a fungal disease causing widespread decline of amphibians. After treatment, Romeo will be introduced to a female called Juliet. Despite this, there are concerns that there are too few frogs left in the wild for a sustainable long-term population, and thus captive breeding is considered the best way to restore the species.
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