Progress of the Atelognathus patagonicus program
at Delegación Sur de Parques Nacionales


Atelognathus patagonicus

Common Name(s)

Patagonian Frog

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, La Plata University

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

Delegación Sur de Parques Nacionales

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

We do not have constant financing for the maintenance of the frogs. While we have managed to access resources over the years, most of these funds just help cover one-year periods. While the total program has a planned duration of 10 years (from 2015 to 2025) we have still to cover 5 years until the program ends.

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


Taxon Management Coordinator

Federico Kacoliris of La Plata University

Has a Taxon Management Group or Recovery Team been established?


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


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?


List of knowledge gaps

Population viability analysis needed to determine minimum viable populations and minimum habitat requirements.

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?



Second half 2020 and 2021. We were unable to give personal support to technicians in charge of the ex-situ colony due to COVID restrictions. We were unable to fare to the ex-situ facilities of this species. We were also unable to continue in situ management to avoid threats to this species as a previous step to the reintroduction program (the authorities in charge of the area did not sell permits to work there, due to COVID restrictions). February 2020: Three portions of the shore of the White Lagoon were identified as good habitats for the creation of sanctuaries for this species. Start of the creation of one sanctuary for Patagonia Frog in one of the identified good habitats, including fencing to avoid the access of livestock and invasive fish, and supplementation of shelter for frogs. February 2019: The drought that is currently affecting the area has been longer than usual and it was very difficult to find frogs. Luckily, thanks to the help of the local Park Rangers, we found three juvenile individuals under rocks in a remote place and translocated them to the recently created terrariums, which emulate their aquatic habitat.
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