Peru’s Lake Titicaca yields thousands of dead critically endangered ‘scrotum frogs’

By @vitthernandez on
Lake Titicaca
Sheep graze near a burnt patch of reeds on the shores of Titicaca lake near Ancoraimes in Bolivia, September 7, 2015. Reuters/David Mercado

Peruvian authorities are now investigating the death of over 10,000 critically endangered water frogs. The bodies of the water frogs, also called scrotum frogs because of its wrinkly skin, were found floating on Lake Titicaca.

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, over the past 15 years, the population of the frog’s species has dwindled to about 80 percent. The population decimation is partly due to the amphibian collected for food and lost habitat after other invasive species had taken over their homes.

The Committee Against Pollution of the Coata River blamed river pollution which feeds into the lake. The 10,000 dead scrotum frogs covered an area of about 50 kilometres, ABC reports. The committee blames the Peruvian government for ignoring its call for a sewage treatment plant in the area.

The frog, which weighs up to two pounds, uses its enormous folds of skin to suck additional oxygen out of the water. Gizmodo reports that local compare the creature to Jabba the Hutt after a 30-day weight loss challenge or a human scrotum.

The specie is found only in Lake Titicaca which is freshwater and straddles the boundaries of Bolivia and Peru. Maruja Inquilla Sucasaca, who brought the die-off to the attention of Sefor, called the situation maddening. She accuses the Peruvian government of having no idea how major is the lake’s pollution levels.

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