Progress of the Gastrotheca riobambae program
at Fundación Herpetológica Gustavo Orcés


Gastrotheca riobambae

Common Name(s)

Riobamba Marsupial Frog, Rana Marsupial Andina

Region where program is based

South America

Country where program is based


The authority that recommended this species for an ex situ program

Conservation Needs Assessment Workshop

Has a genetic analysis been performed on wild populations to define the target taxon, i.e., verify that single, viable Evolutionarily Significant Units (ESU's) that are managed as separate populations, are not confounded by cryptic species or polymorphisms?


Name of the institution managing the ex situ population

Fundación Herpetológica Gustavo Orcés

Year the program started


Is at least some portion of the captive population maintained in range country?


Are sufficient resources available to manage the ex situ population?


Are adequate numbers of skilled staff available with the appropriate ex situ amphibian experience?


Is sufficient space available for the required population size?


Additional Support required

Linking the conservation efforts of the species among several stakeholders (government, NGOs, experts), since isolated incentives are not linked, resources are doubled, and there is no global effort aimed at the protection of the species. Veterinarians with an interest in participating in the project are required.

Has a Taxon Management Coordinator for the ex situ population been appointed?


Taxon Management Coordinator

María Elena Barragán-Paladines of Fundación Herpetológica Gustavo Orcés

Has a Taxon Management Group or Recovery Team been established?


Has a Taxon Management Plan, Recovery Plan or Species Action Statement been written?


Web link to Taxon Management Plan

Have Husbandry Guidelines been written?

In preparation

Web link to Husbandry Management Guidelines

Have any knowledge gaps in the species biology or in their interaction with potential threats been identified that could benefit from research using the ex situ population?

Species’ biology is already well-documented

Have founder needs been calculated using the AArk Amphibian Population Management Guidelines ?


Have sufficient potential founders been collected? ( AArk Amphibian Population Management Guidelines recommends a minimum of 20 pairs of found animals).


If sufficient founders have not been collected, is there an ongoing search for additional founders?


Is the ex situ population managed by nationals from the range country?


What tools are used to maximize retention of genetic diversity?


Has the population produced viable offspring?


Have the first generation captive-bred animals bred successfully?


Is the ex situ population housed in permanent isolation from other populations occurring outside its range?


Is work being supported to study and mitigate threats to the species in the wild, either by the institution or by a regional wildlife agency?


Have captive-bred or captive-reared animals been released into the wild?


If releases were undertaken, have disease screening protocols or veterinary health checks been conducted prior to releases to the wild?


Is follow-up work being carried out to monitor progress of the released animals?


Is the taxon again secure in the wild, even if it might still require some ongoing in situ management? i.e. has the need for a captive assurance population been obviated such that we can call this a successfully terminated captive rescue program?



2021: In the last two years, sampling has been carried out to compare whether the specimens kept in captivity are healthy, and compared to individuals re-collecting two of the released population. Sampling (in 2018 and 2019) of the health status of the released specimens has also been carried out, comparing their growth and development with specimens kept in captivity. Our organization maintains the development of the project in different phases education and community involvement; field monitoring; captive management of specimens.
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