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Mysterious Mass Deaths: 10000 Endangered Frogs Just Died In Peru, and No One Knows Why

Oct 20, 2016 04:20 AM EDT
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Peru's environmental agency is currently looking into the mysterious deaths of some 10,000 endangered Titicaca frogs in the south of the Peru.

According to United Press International, the frogs were found floating lifeless in the shallows and washed up along the shoreline of Lake Titicaca.

The report added that it was environmental activists with the Committee Against the Pollution of the Coata River who alerted authorities about the problem. The Technical Forestry and Wildlife Management (ATFFS) Puno, decentralized office of the National Forest Service and Wildlife (SERFOR) of the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation (MINAGRI), took immediate action after receiving an alert about the deaths of the frogs.

At first, it was thought that 100 frogs were only affected. But later investigation revealed that there are an estimated 100,000 Titicaca frogs that died.

In a released statement, officials with the Peruvian National Forestry and Wildlife Service wrote:

"Based on the statements of the villagers and those found samples days after the incident, it would be about 10 thousand frogs affected by a distance of about 50 kilometers from the Ccacachi bridge to the mouth of Lake Titicaca."

A campaign group says pollution in the River Coata is to blame for the deaths. In an initial investigation did by experts, presence of solid waste and sludge formation was observed in the body of water.

As quoted by CNN, La Republica, a Peruvian newspaper reported that residents living near the Coata River Basis believe sewage runoff coming from Juliaca has played a role in the frog deaths.

Meanwhile, samples of the water have already been gathered for further investigation.

The Titicaca water frog (Telmatobius coleus) whose population has declined by 80 percent in the past years, is one of the largest aquatic frogs in the world. National Geographic explorer Jonathan Kolby, a PhD student who studies frogs in Latin America said it has "amazingly baggy skin, which gives it the common name scrotum frog."

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