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Submit Please provide a response. Response must be less that , characters. Thank you for your feedback. No one could predict when Cotopaxi would erupt. The problem was finding a source outside more familiar academic circles. In Ecuador, funding for field research is typically not provided by government or academic institutions.
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Instead, researchers must file a daunting amount of paperwork in order to prove a legitimate need to foundations in the US and Europe. Ron suggested they turn to the public for support.
Crowdsourcing has funded everything from independent films to humanitarian causes—so why not the rescue of a species? The campaign was launched online in mid-October and lasted until the following February. Balsa de los Sapos is a wonder box of living species, each one rarer than the next.
In the cold room, sitting inside a corner terrarium, is the so-called Titicaca water frog Telmatobius culeus , the largest aquatic frog specimen in the world, found only in the Lake Titicaca basin that straddles Bolivia and Peru at 12, feet above sea level. Currently, the Balsa de los Sapos facility hosts around thirty threatened amphibian species, some of which were found by the staffers themselves: In they came upon three new species; in and , a total of eighteen.
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Once the frogs arrive at the facility, they go on to live the rest of their days in temperature-controlled tanks. Freddy Almeida, the caretaker at Balsa de los Sapos, is in charge of the more than fifty rocket frog tadpoles the team has caught since learning of the pending eruption. The color of their skin changes and so do their feeding habits. On a recent quiet weekday morning at the privately owned nature reserve of El Molinuco, Merino-Viteri and Almeida put on their rubber boots and knelt down atop the moss-covered pebbles by the edge of the river.
With them was Pol Pintanel, a young Ph. The three young men got to work, looking for the evasive tadpoles, one by one, on the edges of the stream and under the rocks. A couple of hours passed. Almeida, Pintanel, and Merino-Viteri were hunched over, facing the stream, concentrating. Pintanel found a few tadpoles and stowed them away inside Gatorade bottles that contained a splash of river water, so they could be taken back to Balsa de los Sapos.
Almeida and Merino-Viteri rushed over to Pintanel, who held the tiny rocket frog in his right hand like a prize. The frog was nervously trying to jump back into the stream, its hind legs stretching to find purchase while Pintanel gently struggled to show him off without letting him slip away.
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They placed the frog inside a bottle filled with river water, then passed the bottle back and forth for a while. The three biologists took off their rubber boots and stowed the plastic bottles in their backpacks. View cart Subscribe Login. How to Give Why Give?