How poachers of this rare frog became its protectors
Peruvian women are selling handicrafts inspired by the endangered Lake Titicaca water frog.
In Peru, there’s a drink that some call frog juice. It’s a traditional preparation, made of raw, skinned frogs blended with ingredients such as maca root and honey. This “tonic” is mostly sold as an aphrodisiac, though it’s also claimed to cure everything from asthma to osteoporosis. (No scientific evidence exists for its efficacy.)
The frog of choice is the Lake Titicaca water frog. Things have become so dire for this once common amphibian (which got the nickname “scrotum frog” from the many folds of its skin) that the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the body that sets the conservation status of species, defines it as critically endangered. Rosa Elena Zegarra Adrianzén, a biologist with Peru’s