For Amphibian Week 2023 we’re shining a light on Atelopus pastuso, the Amazon páramo frog. This tiny amphibian (adult females are 3-5cms long, while males are slightly smaller) is found in the Bordoncillo moorland, within the Colombian basin of the Amazon River. Unfortunately, this species is Critically Endangered (IUCN Red List) with an estimated population of less than 50 individuals. 

Through our Conservation Fund small grants programme, we supported the Fuverde Foundation and their herpetologists with vital funding to help preserve this species in the wild. There are many threats to the survival of this species: loss of habitat from deforestation and illegal mining, the threat of disease (chytrid fungus), and climate change.

The Fuverde Foundation focused on three key strategies to support this species survival – habitat conservation, education and communication. Using the Zoo grant, the project team were able to create and restore a 12km2 protected and fenced area within the natural habitat of the Amazon páramo frog, and implement a monitoring programme.

Conservation of threatened species is only possible with support of the local community. To help bring the locals along on the frog's conservation journey, 300 indigenous Kamsá were educated in páramo amphibian conservation. This included workshops on the valuable role frogs play in an ecosystem, as well as teaching young people how to grow and propagate native plants for replanting the area.

To help spread awareness of the plight of this species, more than 10,000 locals were reached through media campaigns and community events. This not only increased awareness of these unique frogs and their habitat, but also helped to encourage active community participation in the project.

The great news is that initial data indicates this project has been a success! Frog surveys carried out before and after the project suggest that the population has grown by 50% since this conservation work began!

You help us to support mahi like this every time you visit the Zoo or make a donation to our Conservation Fund