10,000 Titicaca Water Frogs Spotted Dead In Peru

First Posted: Oct 20, 2016 04:49 AM EDT

More than 10,000 Titicaca water frogs were found dead in the waters of Lake Titicaca in Peru. Officials are now investigating the cause of their deaths. The said creature was listed as critically endangered and can only be found in the freshwater lake shared by Peru and Bolivia.

The Committee Against Pollution of the Coata River blamed the deaths of the water frogs to serious pollution in the Coata River that feeds into the lake. They also said that the authorities in Peru failed to attend to the problem in pollution, according to BBC.

Meanwhile, most of the locals believe that the deaths could be caused by the sewage runoff from Juliaca. The authorities have seen sludge and solid waste during the investigation. The latest potential threat to the said creature could be the sewage, according to Christian Science Monitor.

Maruja Inquilla Sucasaca, the first person who reported the die-off to SERFOR and an activist together with other activists brought 100 of the dead frogs to the central square of Puno. They felt that the problem was not getting enough attention. She said that I had to bring them the dead frogs. They don't realize how they are living. "They have no idea how major the pollution is. The situation is maddening."

The National Forestry and Wildlife Service (SEFOR) in Peru is now investigating the incident and currently testing water samples. They are looking for answers on the probable cause of death of the Titicaca water frogs.

The population of the Titicaca water frog declined by almost 80 percent in 15 years due to over-harvesting, habitat destruction and predators such as trout that eats the tadpoles. In some investigations, there are about 50 and 150 frogs that are harvested every day used as the treatment for different ailments and cook as a delicacy.

Titicaca water frogs have thick layers of folded skin. They use their skin for evolutionary adaptation. These frogs live in Lake Titicaca, which is about 12,507 feet, the world's highest navigable lake. So, in order for them to breathe at this high altitude place, they breathe through their skin folds and have a high red blood cell count, that provides them enough oxygen.


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