It sounds extraordinary and untrue, but the world’s loneliest frog was indeed saved by an online dating profile. A Valentine’s stunt that conservationists played on Match.com played off, it raised awareness and found the lonely frog a partner. The expedition found five new Sehuencas water frogs and this even included a mate for lonesome Romeo.
Last year on Valentine’s day, the Bolivia Museo de Historia Natural Alcide d’Orbigny in Cochabamba created a Match.com profile for Romeo. Romeo is a male Sehuencas water frog that was thought to be the last species of his kind. Unfortunately, no lady frogs messaged him back, but many humans did. The stunt raised over $25,000 and helped the movement’s efforts to save more endangered amphibians. And now that money raised is paying for itself, researchers in Bolivia were able to use it to find more Sehuencas frogs.
They even located an adult female frog, which many hope will fall in love with Romeo, to try and play with destiny they named the female Juliet. The species of frog was once pretty abundant in Bolivia and roamed free, but in recent years water frog species have found themselves victim to multiple threats like habitat destruction, climate change, and pollution.
Over ten years ago, Romeo was plucked from the wild, with hopes of repopulating his species but they could never locate a female Sehuencas frog until now. Researchers and scientists around the world were frustrated and worried that Romeo would face the same fate as Toughie – the world’s last known Rabbs’ Fringe Limbed Tree Frog who died in 2016 in captivity.
However, the money raised by the dating website promotion was able to allow non-profit organization Global Wildlife Conservation and the Museo de Historia Natural Alcide d’Orbigny to embark on a new expedition. And this time, the mission was a success, though it was not easy. Nearly all of the streams they originally looked at had no frogs.
Finally, they did find five under a waterfall, and now they have started to create the first water frog love nest – in hopes of creating an insurance population against extinction.