Zoo Director Alejandra Montalba praised the team which looks after the frogs - and now their 200 offspring as well - for their meticulous work. The entire population of one of Chile's rarest frogs once lived quite happily—whatever happiness might look like for a frog—in a single stream. Considered critically endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, the Loa water frog is thought to live only in one stream in Calama, Chile. "They had to replicate the exact conditions of the water... to keep them alive," she said. Every day, Mongabay reporters bring you news from nature’s frontline. Fourteen Loa water frogs (Telmatobius dankoi) were airlifted to the zoo in 2019 after they were found in a muddy puddle, all that was left of their habitat in Chile's Atacama desert. Desperate to find a mate for "Romeo", a Sehuencas water frog which was believed to be the last of his species, the team at Alcide d'Orbigny gained worldwide publicity for their search when they placed a dating ad for Romeo. Now, after more than a year of meticulous care, they have produced 200 tadpoles. .css-1xgx53b-Link{font-family:ReithSans,Helvetica,Arial,freesans,sans-serif;font-weight:700;-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;color:#FFFFFF;}.css-1xgx53b-Link:hover,.css-1xgx53b-Link:focus{-webkit-text-decoration:underline;text-decoration:underline;}Read about our approach to external linking. However, in 2017, Romeo was united with Juliet, the last known female of the species. Find her on Twitter @lizkimbrough. Mining and human settlements have degraded their natural habitat. The goal for the captive Loa water frogs is to breed enough healthy individuals to release them back into to the wild. But look, there are lots of reasons to be hopeful, there are 14 of you.". Download photos and video. A study that surveyed depths from the shore to 7 m (23 ft) near Isla del Sol found that adults were most common at 1.5–3 m (5–10 ft). Because they require such specific conditions for survival, they are especially vulnerable to threats from development, drought, pollution and disease. Chile, Ecuador and Peru. Conservationists in Chile are celebrating after a group of critically endangered Loa water frogs … Liz Kimbrough is a staff writer for Mongabay. In 2019, that stream had dried into little more than a mud puddle. “So we’re very happy, learning again, trying to discover what these tadpoles need … the food that they need and the nutritional requirements … but it’s a challenge.”. The Loa water frog was once found only in a single stream in Chile, and experts estimate that there may be between just 5 and 8 individuals still alive in the wild. Fourteen Loa water frogs (Telmatobius dankoi) were airlifted to the zoo in 2019 after they were found in a muddy puddle, all that was left of their habitat in Chile's Atacama desert. US energy department caught up in giant cyber-hack, Four charged in India over Hathras rape case, 'Banshee, shrew': An angry song wants women to be seen, India plans to 'begin Covid vaccination in January', Armaan Malik: Prince of romance gets pop makeover, Swiss count cost of surge in Covid deaths. At the beginning, we didn’t know if the eggs were fertile or not, but we noticed right away that these eggs turn into larvae very fast. There are at least 63 known species of water frogs, or Telmatobius species, found from Ecuador to Chile, including in Peru, Bolivia and Argentina. “Ultimately we need to work very hard to restore their environment because it’s pointless to breed them if they don’t have a home to go back to in the wild,” Montalba said in a statement. A 'lost baby' in a battle over love and religion, .css-q4by3k-IconContainer{display:none;height:1em;width:1em;vertical-align:-0.125em;margin-right:0.25em;}playHundred-year-old whisky bottles found in house walls. While the zoo has successfully bred the species, the next step is to determine how to care and feed the tadpoles. So for all of these reasons, don’t give up!”. In 2019, the last known 14 Loa water frogs (Telmatobius dankoi) were evacuated from a swiftly vanishing stream in northern Chile. Experts say there may be between five and eight individuals still living in the wild. Not only was their approach successful - a mate was found for the lonely frog - but the team behind Romeo has also been helping out other frogs in need. Last year in 2010,… Continue reading Last Known Loa Water Frogs Reproduce! Twelve of the original 14 frogs survived and are in good health today. Charrier was assisted by Gabriel Lobos. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. But until they have a safe home to go to, they will remain in the protection of the zoo. Conservationists in Chile are celebrating after a group of critically endangered Loa water frogs produced 200 offspring in Santiago zoo. The Loa water frog’s stream had dried up due to illegal water extraction for mining, agriculture and real estate development, per Shersby. Fourteen Loa water frogs (Telmatobius dankoi) were airlifted to the zoo in 2019 after they were found in a muddy puddle, all that was left of their habitat in Chile's Atacama desert. The two are now living together, and the hopes of their species hinge on their successful romance. Fast,” Alejandra Montalba, director of the National Zoo of Chile, told Mongabay. And in case words were not enough, a Spotify account under Romeo's name also offered an uplifting playlist for the Loa water frogs including titles such as Al Greens' "Take Me to the River", Kelly Clarkson's "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You) and Elton John's "I'm Still Standing". .css-orcmk8-HeadlineContainer{display:-webkit-box;display:-webkit-flex;display:-ms-flexbox;display:flex;-webkit-box-pack:justify;-webkit-justify-content:space-between;-ms-flex-pack:justify;justify-content:space-between;}Covid-19 pandemic: Sweden reverses face mask guidelines for public transport.css-1dedj2h-Rank{-webkit-align-self:center;-ms-flex-item-align:center;align-self:center;color:#B80000;margin-left:3.125rem;}1, US judge says parents owe son over trashed porn collection2, Eminem uses song to say sorry to Rihanna for backing Chris Brown3, Covid: US Vice-President Mike Pence receives vaccine live on TV4, Meghan settles case over Archie photos with Splash UK agency5, US cyber-attack: US energy department confirms it was hit by Sunburst hack6, Covid: Boris Johnson 'hoping to avoid' national lockdown7, Italian 'Casanova' online gang broken up in Turin8, Covid: Sydney residents urged to stay home amid new outbreak9, The Stand: Anger over actor cast in deaf role for Stephen King TV series10. The river had dried up to illegal extraction of water for mining, agriculture, and urban development. “When we brought these animals to the zoo, I didn’t even know if they were going to survive the transfer from Calama on the plane to Santiago,” said Andrés Charrier, a rescue team member and herpetologist affiliated with the Chilean Herpetological Society. Mongabay is a U.S.-based non-profit conservation and environmental science news platform. They are found only in 1 location, Las Cascadas along the Loa River. In late October this year, after more than a year of meticulous care, they have produced 200 tadpoles. .css-14iz86j-BoldText{font-weight:bold;}Conservationists in Chile are celebrating after a group of critically endangered Loa water frogs produced 200 offspring in Santiago zoo. We apologize, but this video has failed to load. Many are endangered or threatened and all are considered microendemic, meaning they live in only one small location such as a particular stream or lake. 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Mr Lobos had said last year that one of the problems of conservation efforts for the Loa water frog was getting attention for the species. FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. DONATE HERE. In general, Titicaca water frogs prefer a mixed bottom; either a muddy or sandy bottom with some rocks, or with plenty of aquatic plants and some rocks. The rescue mission was launched last year after herpetologist Andrés Charrier found that the stream outside the city of Calama - the only place where the Loa water frogs are known to live - had dried up. The Loa frogs are the last of their species, but there are 63 other species of water frogs (Telmatobius spp.) (Left photo by Claudio Soto Azat. I know you'd much rather be snuggling up in your own stream, eating the wild snails and earthworms of your choice. © 2020 BBC. Loa frogs, or Telmatobius dankoi, are brownish and quite small. Many of these species, like the Loa water frog, are microendemic, which means they live in just one small place. The threats to the Loa water frog are common throughout northern Chile, where water is a scarce resource, drought has been unrelenting, and additional pressure comes from multiple human sources. “We put two couples together, and we got about 200 eggs. The frogs caught a ride in the cockpit of a commercial flight from their dwindling habitat in Chile’s driest desert to the National Zoo of Chile in Santiago. Once the frogs reached the zoo, experts there faced the challenge of recreating the water environment of their home stream and figuring out what to feed them. Researchers believe fewer than a dozen Loa water frogs remain in their native habitat. Sadly, the river has become inhabitable for the frogs. Our biweekly podcast delivering news & inspiration from nature’s frontline. Only 14 frogs remained in the stream when they were collected on August 3. The 14 specimens left in a muddy puddle were dehydrated and malnourished and with their habitat threatened by illegal water extraction for mining, agriculture and real estate development, the decision was taken to transfer them 1,500km to the south to Chile's National Zoo in the capital, Santiago. Herpetologists managed to nurse 12 of them back to health. Fourteen Loa water frogs were taken to Santiago zoo in 2019 Conservationists in Chile are celebrating after a group of critically endangered Loa water frogs produced 200 offspring in Santiago zoo. “The story of the Loa water frogs is a cautionary tale,” Don Church, president of Global Wildlife Conservation, said in a statement, “one that should spur us to action for all other water frog species before they also potentially decline to only a few individuals left.”. Now, after more than a year of meticulous care, they have produced 200 tadpoles. Fourteen Loa water frogs were taken to Santiago zoo in 2019. hbspt.cta.load(5981609, '8f4c6e6c-f5b2-40c0-926e-1af2470257f3', {}); Mongabay is a reader-supported conservation and environmental science news service. Rare Bolivian glass frogs seen for first time in 18 years, Hundred-year-old whisky bottles found in house walls. In 2019, the last known 14 Loa water frogs (Telmatobius dankoi) were evacuated from a swiftly vanishing stream in northern Chile. A team of conservationists and Indigenous leaders retrieved 14 malnourished Loa water frogs in Northern Chile. Many water frogs are microendemic, meaning that their habitat is found in one small location. Right photo by the Ministry of Housing and Urbanism of Chile) The most famous of the water frogs is perhaps Romeo, “the loneliest frog in the world” as he is the last known male Sehuencas water frog (Telmatobius yuracare). 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The team noticed reproductive conditions in the frogs, such as changes in the skin of males and the weight of females, and in late October 2020, the frogs laid eggs. All Loa water frogs shared their home in a single stream in the Atacama desert, but most of their limited water supply has been extracted for nearby mining, agriculture, and real estate development. known to science living Argentina, Bolivia. The Loa Water Frog (Telmatobius dankoi) is a critically endangered frog from Chile. Bold sustainability commitments: an interview with Microsoft’s Lucas Joppa, Brazilian woman threatened by Amazon loggers wins global human rights award, In an oil spill’s aftermath in Peru, new voices lead an Indigenous fight for justice, Environmentalists seek to block Bahamas oil drilling bid near U.S. coast, Land inequality is worsening and fueling other social ills, report says. Santiago: When Chilean scientists last year discovered 14 Loa water frogs struggling to survive in a nearly dry river bed in the country’s northern desert, the clock began ticking. If you value this objective and impact-driven journalism, please consider becoming a sustaining member. Nearly 200 Loa water frog (Telmatobius dankoi) tadpoles hatched Tuesday, Oct. 20, at the National Zoo of Chile, a little more than a year after a team of conservationists and government officials in Chile swiftly evacuated the last-known 14 frogs from perilously dry habitat and brought them to the zoo.“The zoo’s specialists not only nursed the animals … The Loa water frog is considered critically endangered by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and was once found only in a single stream in Chile. Earlier this month, the frogs successfully mated. For more information, visit Mongabay.com. 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Gabriel Lobos, who with Andrés Charrier has spent years studying the Loa water frogs, told local media that the challenge now was to restore the frogs' habitat to allow their return to the wild. The Museo de Historia Natural Alcide d’Orbigny in Bolivia, where the star-crossed lovers live, recently released a letter of encouragement from Romeo to the Loa water frogs in Chile. The critically endangered frogs normally live in a river near the city of Calama but as the city developed the water became polluted and dried up. They can comfortably perch on a human finger, as they rarely grow longer than two inches. We depend on support from users like you. And … Dryness? Photo by the Metropolitan Park of Santiago Parquemet. The Loa water frogs, a tiny and beguiling dark-spotted amphibian also known as Telmatobius dankoi, mated between Oct 11 and Oct 12. The land that includes the muddy pool where the frogs were found, for example, was recently sold to a real estate developer. Water frogs are semi-aquatic or entirely aquatic, making them very sensitive to … Loa water frogs (Telmatobius dankoi) are considered critically endangered by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, and last week, Chilean conservationists and government officials rescued what may be the last 14 of their kind. The Loa water frogs, a tiny and beguiling dark-spotted amphibian also known as Telmatobius dankoi, mated between Oct. 11 and 12. “Humans got us into this mess,” the letter says, “but since your human friends at the zoo are like mine at the museum and all over the world, you’ll know that so many of them are committed to fixing this mess. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Quiz of the Year, part one: Can you even remember January? Banner image of a Loa water frog at the National Zoo of Chile. It’s the first time that these particular species [has] reproduced in an ex situ condition,” Montalba said. Staff at the National Zoo of Chile in Santiago nursed 12 of the amphibians back to health and helped them produce 200 eggs. After the care and feeding is successfully determined, the final step is reintroducing the species back into its native habitat. That is where the team at Chile's National Zoo has received some help from their colleagues at Bolivia's Museum of Natural History "Alcide d'Orbigny" in Cochabamba. What happens to your body in extreme heat? Our EIN or tax ID is 45-3714703. The Loa water frog is considered critically endangered by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species TM and was once found only in a single stream in Chile. Because water frogs … They both spent years studying the Loa water frogs. Does Biden's new team better reflect America? Antarctic ice melt related to tropical weather shifts: Study, Tropical forests can take the heat, study finds. “Everything that we are getting now it’s new for science. 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But years of illegal water extraction for nearby copper mining choked and dessicated the waterway, squeezing the Loa water frogs that managed to survive into a puddle roughly the size of a small bedroom. .css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:link{color:inherit;}.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:visited{color:#696969;}.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:link,.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:visited{-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;}.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:link:hover,.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:visited:hover,.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:link:focus,.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:visited:focus{color:#B80000;-webkit-text-decoration:underline;text-decoration:underline;}.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:link::after,.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:visited::after{content:'';position:absolute;top:0;right:0;bottom:0;left:0;z-index:2;}Rare Bolivian glass frogs seen for first time in 18 years, Lake Titicaca giant frog: Scientists join forces to save species, Exotic frog found among bananas at Llanelli supermarket, Vice-President Pence gets Covid jab live on TV. The Loa water frogs, a tiny and beguiling dark-spotted amphibian also known as Telmatobius dankoi, mated between Oct. 11 and 12. Last year, a letter "from the desk of Romeo" offered some encouraging words to the Loa water frogs: "I know you're far from home. "I didn't feel a thing," says Mr Pence after he receives his first dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. Loa water frogs are a critically endangered amphibian known only to inhabit a single stream in Chile. The Loa water frogs, a tiny and beguiling dark-spotted amphibian also known as Telmatobius dankoi, mated between Oct. 11 and 12. Many of these species, like the Loa water frog, are microendemic, which means they live in just one small place. A healthy Loa water frog in 2015 (left), compared to the malnourished Loa water frogs (right) rescued this month from their dried-up habitat in Chile and taken to the National Zoo of Chile to be nursed back to health. The rescue of the 14 frogs received international praise and even caught the attention of Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio, .css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link{color:#3F3F42;}.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited{color:#696969;}.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited{font-weight:bolder;border-bottom:1px solid #BABABA;-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;}.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link:hover,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited:hover,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link:focus,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited:focus{border-bottom-color:currentcolor;border-bottom-width:2px;color:#B80000;}@supports (text-underline-offset:0.25em){.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited{border-bottom:none;-webkit-text-decoration:underline #BABABA;text-decoration:underline #BABABA;-webkit-text-decoration-thickness:1px;text-decoration-thickness:1px;-webkit-text-decoration-skip-ink:none;text-decoration-skip-ink:none;text-underline-offset:0.25em;}.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link:hover,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited:hover,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link:focus,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited:focus{-webkit-text-decoration-color:currentcolor;text-decoration-color:currentcolor;-webkit-text-decoration-thickness:2px;text-decoration-thickness:2px;color:#B80000;}}who celebrated their safe transfer in an Instagram post. 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