|Continent||Central and Latin America|
|Date||25 Feb 2019|
The El Rincon Stream Frog, Pleurodema somuncurense, is an endemic species that only lives in the hot springs of the headwaters of the Valcheta Stream, Patagonia. In the last four decades, this frog’s metapopulation has dramatically declined and some local populations have gone extinct. The drastic decline of this frog was mainly caused by:
i) the expansion of the invasive rainbow trout, an aggressive predator that eats the frogs,
ii) the habitat destruction by livestock, which overgrazes and tramples the vegetation, reducing the availability of food, shelter, and breeding opportunities.
With only a few remaining local populations and a small number of mature individuals, the El Rincon Stream Frog was listed as Critically Endangered at the IUCN Red List and was included within the top 100 EDGE amphibians by the Zoological Society of London. In order to ensure the long-lasting viability of this species, in the frame of this project we plan to:
(1) alleviate the main threat by removing trout;
(2) Improve the quality of breeding habitat by restricting livestock access;
(3) reintroduce captive-bred frogs.
We will create trout barriers and remove all trout upstream, restoring 1-km of the headwaters. We will fence springs and we will restore the native vegetation. We will release captive-bred frogs on restored sites. We expect to increase habitat and protected springs. All these conservation activities follow priorities listed in the IUCN - Amphibian Conservation Action Plan, the El Rincon Stream Frog Conservation Action Plan and the Conservation Action Plan for Amphibians of Argentina. This project will make a positive impact on the effective conservation of this frog and information coming from this experience will be useful to consider in the management of related species.
Read about melina's previous project https://www.rufford.org/projects/melina_velasco_0 or for more information contact: