Oophaga lehmanni crisis
The smugglers have again taken the Colombian Oophaga as an easy option, especially the frogs of the Valle del Cauca province. According to our previous results, the red lehmanni morph lives only in 3 small patches of forest that had been previously unknown to local collectors, and the yellow morph, which had disappeared for years, was again located in an area now surrounded by coca crops. Months ago, a foreign smuggler started again to buy many frogs. First, as we understand, were asked 400 lehmanni . The collectors were unable to catch such amount, because they just did not find all those frogs, and supplemented this shippment with histrionica. While there, we were advised that again they are preparing a shipment, presumably of 1000 frogs. During a week of extensive searching in the previously known locations, we could locate only 2 frogs. However, that afternoon, the collectors, came in and collected another 8 frogs, which may well be some of the lastest.
It is often said that a smuggler could never collect all the frogs of an area, but that claim does note that this case involves a team of experienced collectors, in a very circumscribed area. That's why we think lehmanni is approaching a near total or total collapse of their populations. The authorities and entities responsible are doing their best to stop this smuggling tide, but it is in reality hard to control the extraction in an area like that with much poverty and sluggling history.
Given this complicated situation, we would like to create a mechanism for potential buyers to be aware, understand and can work with us stopping or at least reducing the demand.
This is a non-profit initiative that could later get institutional support. However, in view of the rush, the early stages will depend almost entirely on voluntary support.
Thank you very much
Daniel Mejia Vargas, Colombia
Contact Daniel through the Email form here - Type: To Daniel Lehmanni in header