2,801Grants to


Lake Junin giant frog (Telmatobius macrostomus)

Mohamed bin Zayed Species project number 202525570

Financial reactivation due to Covid-19 of the recovery of the Junin giant frog, NGO GRUPO RANA, Peru.

Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation (Project No. 202525570) - Lake Junin giant frog - Awarded $16,000 on April 10, 2021

Financial reactivation due to Covid-19 of the recovery of the Junin giant frog, NGO GRUPO RANA, Peru.

We are the ONG GRUPO RANA, a non-profit organization that since 2017 works for the mission of developing research projects, science dissemination, youth-outreach volunteer programs, educational and environmental management for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and ecosystem services. We do this with the community participation that allows the revaluation of cultural and natural landscapes and contributes holistically to the development of the society. Our main objective is to avoid the loss of biological diversity, and we focus our efforts in maintaining and increasing the population of the Giant frog of Lake Junin, Telmatobius macrostomus and the wanchas of Junín, Telmatobius brachydactylus. These two endemic and endangered amphibians form a part of the high Andean ecosystem of central Peru. These species have a geographical distribution that includes three natural areas that are protected by the Peruvian state; Junin National Reserve (RNJ), Chacamarca Historic Sanctuary (SHCH) and Huayllay National Sanctuary (SNH), and it is precisely these protected areas that are our environment of focus. These frogs have an environmental, social, and economic importance for the inhabitants, and up until the beginning of this millennium they were used as a source of protein, medicinal and source of income from their commercialization.

Unfortunately, the dramatic decline that these species suffered in recent decades were a result of degradation and alteration of their habitat, overexploitation, and the presence of invasive exotic species.

For these reason we develop three projects with our allies:


This is a citizen science project that promotes the conservation of Telmatobius macrostomus and Telmatobius brachydactylus through population monitoring actions and surveillance of the quality of their aquatic habitats led by local people from Junín and Pasco, Peru.

Based on surveys and interviews carried out between 2018 and 2019, local people shown interest in dedicating time to the conservation of these species. This project begins its pilot phase between 2020 and 2021 (in the final stage), this final part was adapted due the global crisis caused by COVID-19, reaching the participation of more than 30 local members of Junín, including park rangers, members of peasant communities, and volunteers, to validate methodologies and tools for citizen monitoring of these aquatic amphibians.

For this reason, it was decided to work on a mid-term project (3 years) with local people, based on the following activities: 1) Sign conservation agreements with local communities with the benefits and commitments of participate in this project, 1.1) Give an economic subsidy and training in conservation actions to the people that participate in the project, 1.2) Define a minimum conservation area per year, which will be monitored twice a year and watched during the daily work of the local people. At the end of each year, it is expected to reach 12.5 ha of conserved rivers, involve at least 10 local members of peasant communities, a reliable database on the population ecology (size, trends, and dynamics) of Telmatobius macrostomus and Telmatobius brachydactylus.


We propose the formation of a breeding and research center in the district of Ninacaca within the Junín National Reserve, which has an existing infrastructure (catchment channel, waste control grid, breeding ponds and space for a laboratory) for which there is an agreement with Jesús Espinoza, a local resident that the space where the project will be carried out would be available.

The initial population would be collected tadpoles (between stages 30 and 36 per Gosner) from the natural environment, and individuals confiscated by the Peruvian Government from illegal farming and hunting operations. All individuals will undergo a quarantine and a complete examination including treatment for chytridiomycosis. This site will additionally provide opportunities for  studies of habitat quality, food availability and training resources for the local citizen science project "Guardianes de las ranas del Chinchaycocha'' under the direction of Denver Zoo and the NGO Grupo RANA. The Telmatobius individuals will be reared in natural pools meeting the required water chemistry parameters, hoping that greater than 50% of the tadpoles and confiscated individuals will develop properly. As the breeding program succeeds, half of the reared individuals will be released, when they reach stage 42 per Gosner, in the local monitoring sites, rehabbed sites devoid of threats, sites within the territory and buffer zones of national protected areas, and those that are part of the citizen monitoring program. The remaining frogs will continue in captivity to ensure the success of the project. The ex situ conservation facility will work with the rural communities, Denver Zoo, Junín National Reserve, Amphibian Survival Alliance and the Municipality of Ninacaca.




The project aims to develop collaborative research with students and teachers premises framed in two research lines: 1) fill information gaps about frogs and their habitats, and 2) mitigate threats to them, to reach this end resources are used that provide the environmental education and citizen science, all through the application of the method of constructivism that allows to reassess the knowledge of the students. This project will run over 3 years, with 2021 being the first year of it. The results that the project hopes to achieve at the end of the 3 years are:

a) Delimitation, characterization, recognition and conservation of at least 5 research areas of

at least 10000 m2 of extension each within the Junin National Reserve at distances close to

educational institutions.

b) Implementation of our citizen science program "The frogs and me" oriented to the development of collaborative and guided research with researchers in the field and to raise awareness about the conservation of them.

c) Communication to report on bad practices applied to frogs and their habitats

In this first phase of the project (2021) we have the participation of 04 educational institutions, each educational institution has the participation of one teacher and 8 students. In addition to this, the project has the involvement of allies such as SERNANP through the Junin National Reserve, the Junin Local Educational Management Unit and the Denver Zoological Foundation.


Project documents