Progress of the Gastrotheca riobambae program
at Quito Zoo


Gastrotheca riobambae

Common Name(s)

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

Quito Zoo

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

More economic resources are needed to be able to improve overall the conditions of the managed animals. In addition, further training or support is required to diagnose diseases in amphibians.

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


Taxon Management Coordinator

Maria Teresa Alvear of Quito Zoo

Has a Taxon Management Group or Recovery Team been established?


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

In preparation

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?



2016: As part of the conservation program that we are developing, we have established the first controlled reintroduction in one of the adjacent creeks to Guayllabamba River, which is within the immediate vicinity of zoo trial. At just six months into the program we have the first 256 adult from six unrelated genetic lines to be reintroduced into their natural environment. We have also developed a head-starting program in which we will catch wild tadpoles and raise them in artificial ponds, capturing approximately 10% of the animals found in each natural pool.
Ef101e9d 505b 4e70 b23c a97876a95f92 Cf791ed5 29da 48bc 8902 a96324216f34