Animal protection organizations uploaded Romeo's profile to a dating site in the hopes to prevent the species from becoming extinct
Romeo, belonging to the aquatic species Telmatobius Yuracare, also known as aquatic frog Sehuencas, it generally lives in small streams, rivers, and ponds in the forests of Cochabamba and Santa Cruz (Bolivia). The animal is currently in danger of extinction.
More than ten years ago, when Romeo arrived at the giant aquarium Museum Cochabamba, it was constantly calling for mates, but in recent years, it’s called musical mating has diminished, making biologists believe the frog is losing hope of finding a mate.
Romeo isn’t young anymore and biologists estimate that their life expectancy can be of about fifteen years and, considering that it has lived more than a decade in the museum, scientists don’t have too much time to save this species; in countries like Ecuador, it is considered extinct.
Hoping to establish a breeding program, the Amphibian Initiative Bolivia hopes to find others of the same species. If this isn’t possible, Arturo Munoz, founder of the initiative, does not rule out cloning the animal in order to save this amphibian whom is threatened by climate change, habitat loss, introduced predators, and chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium).
On February 14th, Valentine 's Day, the Amphibian Initiative Bolivia, in collaboration with Global Wildlife Conservation and Match, the largest dating site online for animals, will launch a campaign fundraiser in which they expect to receive around $15,000 USD. The money will be used to send expeditions into streams to see if there are any tadpole species of frog Romeo Andes.
The Bolivarian government plans to build a dam in a wooded area where the frog was formerly very common; so was the case that the area now bears its name, Sehuencas, and is expected that Romeo will join this project.
It is very important to note that plants and animals contribute to human life in areas such as medicine, ecology, and trade and must be protected so that future generations can experience their presence and value. Biodiversity is an invaluable and irreplaceable and preservation of animal and plant species worldwide resource depends the quality of human life.
Latin American Post | Andrea del Pilar Riaño Rojas
Copy edited by Susana Cicchetto