April 22, 2019
Latest News
Entertainment

Bolivian lake island aims to become sanctuary for giant frogs

Yolanda Salazar

Isla de la Luna, Bolivia, Apr 13 (efe-epa).- The 25 families who live on this island on the Bolivian side of Lake Titicaca are looking to make their home a sanctuary for critically endangered giant frogs.

The Telmatobius culeus, commonly known as the Titicaca water frog, is considered a sacred animal by the 85 residents of this island, which also is known as Isla de Coati and is accessible by boat from the town of Copacabana, located roughly 150 kilometers (90 miles) from La Paz.

"We want to protect the frogs. That's why we want this place to be declared a sanctuary so they're protected and aren't hunted," Porfirio Mamani, the island's indigenous authority, or Sullka Mallku, told EFE.

He said that for his community and many others on the shores of Lake Titicaca, which has a surface elevation of 3,812 meters (12,507 feet) and is the world's highest navigable lake, these frogs are important because "they attract the rain" that is vital for their bean, potato and corn crops.

Indeed, when the region is short of water local residents conduct a ritual with native music and dances so that the frogs "sing" and bring rain to the island with their sounds.

In addition, when these amphibians are found near the shores of the lake they signal the presence of large quantities of ispi, a small fish that is widely consumed by the local population and a fundamental part of the community's economy.

"For all of these reasons, the frogs are sacred to us and we respect them," Mamani said, adding that when they are "caught in the nets cast for the ispi we carefully free them."

For his part, Arturo Muñoz, a biologist with the Bolivian Amphibian Initiative, a foundation that supports Isla de la Luna's sanctuary project, said that island "is one of the best sites for this species" because of the conditions of the habitat, its numbers and health and the commitment of the local inhabitants.

The Titicaca water frog, which is exclusively found in Lake Titicaca and has a round head, a large body and prominent folds of baggy skin that allow it to absorb the oxygen it needs, has been listed as critically endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species.

The frogs once grew to as long as 20 centimeters, although now the length of the specimens seen in the lake are between 10-12 cm.

These amphibians are threatened by pollution in Lake Titicaca and also are hunted and sold as a delicacy in restaurants or as an ingredient in aphrodisiac juices that are mainly consumed in Peru, biologist Patricia Mendoza, coordinator of the Bolivian Amphibian Initiative, told EFE.

Efforts to conserve the Titicaca water frog go hand-in-hand with a vision of promoting sustainable ecotourism and boosting the income of the island's residents, who depend mainly on fishing and the sale of handicrafts for their livelihoods.

Lake Titicaca has a surface area of more than 8,500 square kilometers (3,280 square miles), serves as a natural border between Bolivia and Peru and is a tourist attraction for both countries.

News history
Funeral of victims of Sri Lanka attacks to be held on Tuesday

Colombo, Apr 22 (efe-epa).- The Sri Lankan government on Monday said that it would hold an official funeral to pay tributes to the nearly 300 people who...

Popular Uruguayan hot springs discovered while searching for oil

By Raul Martinez and Sarah Yañez-Richards

Paragliding offers new way to view Uruguay River

By Sarah Yañez-Richards

Adele splits from her husband Simon Konecki

London, Apr 20 (efe-epa).- Renowned top-selling singer Adele split from her husband Simon Konecki after a seven-year relation that resulted in one son, her...

Break in the rain allows Easter processions to weave through Spain's streets

By Antonia Méndez Ardila

Mexican muralist chronicles the coming of the conquistadors

Veracruz, Mexico, Apr 19 (epa-efe).- Melchor Peredo Garcia has created six murals to represent the "historical and sociological phenomenon" of the arrival...

Newcomer lands main role in Mexico's grandest Passion Play

Mexico City, Apr 19 (epa-efe).- On this Good Friday, for the first time in 15 years, the role of Jesus in the famed Passion Play in the Mexico City borough...

Thousands of Peruvians bid farewell to Alan Garcia

Lima, Apr 18 (efe-epa).- Thousands of Peruvians gathered on Thursday to say their last goodbyes to former President Alan Garcia, dead at 69 of a...

Mexican hamlet marks 500 years since Cortes came ashore

La Antigua, Mexico, Apr 18 (efe-epa).- In legends, in ruins and in the natural exuberance of the ceiba trees, the legacy of Hernan Cortes lives on in this...

Brazilian inmates' creations to hit runway at Sao Paulo Fashion Week

Sao Paulo, Apr 18 (efe-epa).- A score of male inmates at one of Brazil's maximum-security prisons have been hard at work for months on creations set to...

Slower-paced tango is conquering thousands in Taiwan

By Francisco Luis Perez,

Uruguay theater bus presents comic reenactment of Paysandu history

By Raul Martinez

Mexican gov't has cut p.r. spending by 50 pct., president says

Mexico City, Apr 17 (efe-epa).- The Mexican government published new guidelines for communications on Wednesday, with public advertising spending being cut...

Migration north of broad-winged hawks makes stopover in Colombia

By Claudia Polanco Yermanos

China launches Martian simulator for budding space explorers

By Víctor Escribano

Dog pulled from Gulf of Thailand to be adopted by rescuer

Bangkok, Apr 17 (efe-epa).- A dog that was rescued by oil rig workers more than 200 kilometers (125 miles) off the coast of Thailand was in good health on...

Mexican singer Chavela Vargas honored on 100th anniversary of her birth

Mexico City, Apr 16 (EFE).- Mexican singer Chavela Vargas will be commemorated on the 100th anniversary of her birth as a woman who lived in a rebellious...

Penitents in Atlixco, Mexico, prepare for painful Way of the Cross

Atlixco, Mexico, Apr 16 (efe-epa).- The penitents of this town in central Mexico are preparing for one of the country's most representative Stations of the...

Art invites discussion on Havana's Malecon

By Atahualpa Amerise

The street is a graffiti artist's museum, Brazil's Kobra says

By Alvaro Blanco

Spain's Raphael says films still an interest as he accepts Platino Award

Madrid, Apr 16 (epa-efe).- Spanish singer Raphael, who has appeared in such films as "Digan lo que digan," "Mi gran noche" and "El golfo," said after...

2 stolen, restored Van Gogh paintings go back on display 14 years on

Amsterdam, Apr 16 (efe-epa).- A pair of Vincent Van Gogh paintings that were stolen 14 years ago and found during an Italian mafia investigation in 2016...

Reuters 'distressed' its Pulitzer-winning reporters remain in Myanmar jail

Pangshang, Myanmar, Apr 16 (efe-epa).- Reuters news agency lamented Tuesday that two of its journalists who were part of a team awarded a Pulitzer Prize for...

Harvard's Hasty Pudding honors Marc Anthony with highest Golden Sphinx award

New York, United States, Apr 15 (efe-epa).- Singer Marc Anthony Monday became the first Latin artist to be presented with the 2019 Order of the Golden...

I agree Welcome to news4europe.eu. We use cookies to improve your online experience. Find out more.