Thursday 14 February 2019

Romeo and Juliet: the last hopes to save Bolivian aquatic frog

January 16, 2019 by José Arturo Cárdenas
Julieta, an aquatic Sehuencas frog, was found in a Bolivian cloud forest and now it is hoped that she will mate with Romeo, a bachelor for the last 10 years
Almost a year after conservationists sent out a plea to help save a species of Bolivian aquatic frog by finding a mate for the last remaining member, Romeo, his very own Juliet has been tracked down deep inside a cloud forest.
Not only did the wildlife conservation team return with a potential mate for Romeo, who had been 10 years a bachelor, but also another four members of the Sehuencas water frog species, boosting hopes to save the tiny amphibians from extinction.
After previous failed expeditions to the same area over the last decade, a joint expedition between Global Wildlife Conservation (GWC) and the Alcide d'Orbigny Natural History museum finally scored a success in the Bolivian wilderness.
And the good news came about after securing funding following a Valentine's Day appeal last year to help find Romeo his Juliet.
"It is an incredible feeling to know that thanks to everyone who believes in true love and donated for Valentine's Day last year, we have already found a mate for Romeo and can establish a conservation breeding program with more than a single pair," said Teresa Camacho, the museum's chief of herpetology and the expedition leader.
Romeo had been found in that same cloud forest a decade ago and it was feared that he was the last survivor in his species.
With a lifespan of 15 years, time was running out to find Romeo a mate to ensure the survival of the species, although the frog himself never gave up hope, continuing to call out for a mate during his 10 years in captivity.

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