Around ten years ago, biologists located a male Sehuencas water frog in Bolivia, and it turns out he may very well be the world’s loneliest frog.
To this day, no other specimen belonging to the same species has been found. The loneliest frog, called Romeo, is still alone and there’s a strong possibility he’s the only surviving member of his species. Biologists, however, aren’t yet willing to give up.
Around a year after he was captured, Romeo began to call for a mate, but the loneliest frog’s calls have slowed down in recent years. In an effort to bring attention to the situation and perhaps find Romeo some love, conservationists and researchers at Global Wildlife Conservation and the Bolivian Amphibian Initiative partnered with Match to make the world’s loneliest frog a dating profile.
Match is the world’s largest dating service, and they’ve created a profile for Romeo. His profile is expertly written with information that describes him to potential mates, such as the fact that he’s shy and prefers to linger under rocks, only venturing out when his keepers are serving him food. Romeo’s favorite meals are earthworms, isopods, and snails, and he’s quite the musician with a very distinct breeding call. It’s a last-ditch effort to find a mate for the world’s loneliest frog, and while it’s a humorous partnership that brings attention to Romeo’s plight, the odds of an eligible female frog finding Romeo on a dating app are admittedly not very high.
As easy as it is to laugh at the thought of the world’s loneliest frog trying to find love on a dating app, it’s an unfortunate and heartbreaking situation that may lead to the extinction of another species.
In an interview with ZME Science, Arturo Muñoz, founder of the Bolivian Amphibian Initiative and associate conservation scientist of Global Wildlife Conservation, explained their reasoning for the stunt.
“This campaign highlights the crisis that amphibians and even other vertebrate groups are facing in the world. Romeo is similar to some of the other species that came down to only one individual left. There were, and are, others like Lonesome George (the last male of the Pinta Island Tortoise), and Toughie (the last Rabbs’ Fringe-limbed Treefrog)
“For me personally, Romeo is a messenger, telling us: ‘Look this is happening to me, this is happening to my species, don’t let me go, don’t let my species disappear.’ We as conservationists and as humans have a great opportunity here. We can do something to help this species, and this campaign is an important part of those conservation efforts.”
Match and GWC hope to raise $15000 by Valentine’s Day for the world’s loneliest frog, which will fund ten expeditions to the species’ known habitat as well as new places that biologists have never looked. Each donation will be doubled by Match until Valentine’s Day. So if Romeo isn’t your type, perhaps consider donating to the conservation efforts in order to find love for the world’s loneliest frog and help save this critically endangered species.