The Bolivian Amphibian Initiative was established in 2010 in Cochabamba, Bolivia, by Arturo Muñoz Saravia, and it focuses primarily on poorly-known aquatic frogs of the genus Telmatobius, mainly with the Critically Endangered Titicaca Water Frog Telmatobius culeus and the Vulnerable Water Frog Telmatobius hintoni.
In 2010, Telmatobius hintoni tadpoles were collected from the wild, and although early reproductive efforts were not successful, in 2012 the species was bred successfully for the first time in captivity. Later in 2012, pairs of Titicaca Water Frogs were established, with amplexus being observed soon after, followed by over 300 eggs being laid. Unfortunately only about a third of these eggs hatched.
The Bolivian Amphibian Initiative is also carrying out field work in Lake Titicaca to study the Titicaca Water Frog, and they have found some populations in the lake that are still in good condition, but in some areas almost 80% of the population was dead and other individuals are in very bad conditions and looking very sick.
Activities at the Bolivian Amphibian Initiative include:
- Husbandry research of poorly-known aquatic frogs
- Captive breeding of threatened Telmatobius frogs
- Amphibian husbandry training for Bolivian students and conservationists
- Field surveys and research in Lake Titicaca and other areas of Bolivia
- Education programs designed for local communities, schools and staff working in protected areas.