Scrotum Frogs of Lake Titicaca Seriously Threatened by Pollution
These unfortunately named South American amphibians are severely threatened. Stop laughing.
No, this isn’t a joke, this is a mass extinction. Stop being so immature.
Peru’s Lake Titicaca, already the butt of jokes worldwide, is so polluted that the Titicaca water frog (so named for its baggy skin), which makes its home exclusively in the lake, is critically endangered.
Peru’s Fish & Wildlife Service has launched an investigation days after hundreds of the amphibians were found floating lifelessly on the surface of the lake, and “Based on local residents’ statements and samples taken in the days after the incident, it is believed that more than 10,000 frogs were affected over about 30 miles,” the group said in a statement.
The scrotum frog, which is an entirely aquatic species, has seen its numbers drop precipitously as of late: 80 percent over three generations, per the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.
Really, though, the scrotum frog’s gradual erasure from the world is more of a genocide than anything else: Aside from Lake Titicaca’s pollution, people also eat the frog as food (which is probably dangerous, given the lake’s toxicity) and it’s suspected that the North American trout, a recently introduced invasive species, are eating the frog’s eggs and larvae.
Thankfully, due to the brave efforts of the Committee Against the Pollution of the Coata River, which organized an effort to bring 100 scrotum frog corpses fresh from Titicaca to the capital city of Puno on the lake’s shore, the government is finally involved. Hopefully it’s not too late for these noble animals.