Pays Off for Rare Frog

Stunt raises money for expedition, and researchers find 'Romeo' a potential mate
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 17, 2019 1:40 PM CST
Online Dating Pays Off for Rare Frog
This is the newly found Juliet.   (Global Wildlife Conservation/Robin Moore)

He is shy and not very active, and she is the opposite on both counts, but there are high hopes that this union via will be a lasting one. The "he" in this equation is a Sehuencas water frog named Romeo, explains the Guardian. For the last decade, Romeo had been the last known frog of his kind, but that has since changed thanks to an online dating stunt. Researchers put up a profile for Romeo on Match, and the resulting attention raised $25,000, enough to fund a search expedition in Bolivia. Researchers found three more males and two females, including an adult who has been named, yes, Juliet. Once the frogs are out of quarantine, Juliet will be matched with Romeo in the hope that offspring will result. Scientists also hope that a mating pair emerges from the other frogs.

“There is always risk in bringing animals in from the wild to build an insurance population, and it isn’t a step that should be taken lightly,” says Chris Jordan of the Global Wildlife Conservation in a release. “But at this point it seems there are too few water frogs in the wild for them to retain a viable population over the long-term, so there’s a greater risk if we don’t do anything.” The ultimate goal is to release any new offspring into the wild, reports the BBC. (Earlier this month, a snail that was the last of its kind died in Hawaii.)

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