The Titicaca Water Frog is a very rare frog species that is found only in Lake Titicaca and the surrounding rivers that flow into this South American high altitude lake. The species is currently critically endangered to due over consumption by humans, pollution, and decreased life-expectancy during the tadpole stage (due to an introduced population of trout). Local customs attribute higher intelligence, greater development during the adolescent and teenage years, and an increased sex drive with the consumption of this rare and now endangered frog. As a result, the Titicaca Water Frog has traditionally been considered a delicacy amongst the local populace.
Burlington, Vermont natives Julia and Jeremy Walker have been working with Sustainable Bolivia and the Bolivian Amphibian Initiative to alter the unfortunate course of this species existence. With backgrounds in Ecology, Biology, and Conservation, Julia and Jeremy have been spending their weekends in and around Lake Titicaca, scuba diving in the chilly waters in hopes to find these well camouflaged frogs. The frogs are then returned to the Museo de Historia Natural in Cochabamba for data collection and analysis.
Saturday, October 6, Sustainable Bolivia and the Walkers will be undertaking a community workday hosted by the Museo de Historia Natural. During the workday, SB volunteers will assist in creating the Museo’s first live, outdoor exhibit that will include a large frog pond, native flora garden and information about the Bolivian Amphibian Initiative’s captive breeding program.
On Tuesday, September 12, Jeremy and Julia prepared an informal charla with information about the Titicaca Water Frog, their project, and the October workday. Immediately following, Jeremy and Jonathan collaborated on an Italian themed shared dinner for all the participants to enjoy.
– Check out more information at bolivianamphibianinitiative.org