This month, the Museo de Historia Natural Alcide d’Orbigny from Cochabamba, Bolivia, celebrates joining the Amphibian Survival Alliance. Under the motto “we take care of life”, the museum is convinced that activities related to research, education and conservation of threatened species and ecosystems are a joint task, a philosophy that we share with our partners.

Being an institution dedicated to the conservation of biodiversity in Bolivia for 17 years, the museum has been able to identify that each part of the ecosystem is important. At the same time, we recognize that there are groups that are more sensitive to changes in the environment and that are also key points in the food chain, as is the case of amphibians.

With that in mind, and being aware of the critical situation of some amphibians in our country, in 2008 we started the first captive breeding program for the Titicaca Water Frog (Telmatobius culeus) and the Valley Water Frog (Telmatobius hintoni). This program was later consolidated as the Centro K’ayra de Investigación y Conservación de Anfibios Amenazados in Bolivia.

The in situ and ex situ conservation work on the genus Telmatobius has allowed the museum to strengthen several lines of action and to expand our work to other species such as the Sehuencas Water Frog (Telmatobius yuracare), the Sucre Water Frog (Telmatobius simonsi) and the Giant Water Frog (Telmatobius gigas). All this effort is made with the vision of reintroducing the species to their natural habitat.

As we mentioned before, this is a joint work between the researchers that make up the museum, the communities where the research is carried out, and the institutions that have joined our efforts to guarantee the conservation of these species. Some partners are Amphibian Ark, IUCN SOS – Save Our Species, Kansas City Zoo, Global Wildlife Conservation, Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, The Rufford Foundation, National Geographic Photo Ark. Even though we have made a lot already, there is still much to be done, so it is important to continue working together, now with the Amphibian Survival Alliance. As the saying goes on in Bolivian coins, “together we are stronger”!

By Eliana Lizarraga Heredia and Ricardo Céspedes Paz, Museo de Historia Natural Alcide d’Orbigny