After working for a number of years in one of the best areas of the lake for the Lake Titicaca Frog (Telmatobius culeus), the local community from Isla de la Luna asked for our support.
They wanted to establish a sanctuary for the frog around the island, to protect this unique, incredible species and its habitat. We were excited to partner with them and we are working together with the community of the island to protect the Lake Titicaca Frog. The project includes population surveys, education, disease monitoring, water quality sampling and ecotourism. Activities are coordinated together with the local community. Working in this way provides a sustainable conservation initiative for this beautiful area.
In 2017 we conducted a six month ecotourism pilot project at Isla de la Luna where we worked with community 'Coati' to offer visitors the opportunity to snorkel at 12.500ft a.s.l. (3810m a.s.l.), having the oportunity to see the Lake Titicaca Frog in its natural environment.
We assessed the environmental compatibility, seeing no short term effects on the biodiversity from the snorkeling activity itself. The indigenous community participated in transportation, food preparation and lodging for the ecotourists, receiving economical benefits. The ecotourists learned about the Lake Titicaca Frog and its threats, in addition to learning about the local culture.
A critically endangered frog, previously locally common species, now just restricted to small stream in some areas of the Bolivian Andes. Sucre the capital of Bolivia holds one of these populations and together with young conservationists and local communities, we want to provide high quality data about this species and to start working in a joint conservation strategy.
Previously locally common,the three-colored Harlequin Toad (Atelopus tricolor), has not been recorded since 2003 despite several efforts in different regions. On January 2020, after several attempts to find the species and almost 17 years without records, a very small population was found and now together with several other organizations we are working to get more information about this population and to try to find others and in this way to work for its conservation.
Although expensive and resource demanding, captive breeding programs have been a final lifeline for amphibian populations across the world and here in Bolivia it is no different. We are developing captive breeding strategies for threatened Bolivian amphibian species. We will first be working with a small population of the Lake Titicaca Frog (Telmatobius culeus), which will help us to learn more about their requirements as part of their conservation within Bolivia.