With just a handful of isolated populations remaining in the wild, the Valcheta Frog (Pleurodema somuncurense) is the most critically endangered frog of Patagonia. During the last four decades, the expansion of invasive rainbow trout cornered the frogs to the Valcheta Stream headwaters, limiting its range to a restricted area of less than two square kilometers. Although that trout did not reach the headwaters yet, frogs still must face habitat destruction by trampling and grazing of livestock there; a threat that already caused several local extinctions.
To help the recovery of Valcheta Frogs, in 2013 we created the Wild Plateau Initiative and started working with the goal of doubling the distributional range and population size of this species. In this framework we established a survival breeding colony in the first and only ex situ rescue center for endangered amphibians in Argentina.
We have already had several achievements including the reintroduction of Valcheta Frogs born in captivity in a restored habitat where the species had gone extinct. However, a lot of work is still needed to ensure the long lasting viability of this species and its habitat.
Donations to this project will be used to:
- cover annual maintenance costs of the breeding centre, including food for the frogs
- cover a significant part of the habitat restoration and reintroduction program.