Meet Natalia Maruscak of SAVE THE FROGS! Buenos Aires

Natalia Maruscak amphibian conservation

Introduction

Natalia Maruscak is an esteemed biologist and environmental educator. She first connected with SAVE THE FROGS! at a global amphibian conference in 2008. Today, Natalia serves as the Founder and Director of SAVE THE FROGS! Buenos Aires. She also represents the International Association of Zoological Educators (IZE) in Latin America and is a member of the education committee of the Parks, Zoos and Aquariums Assocation (ALPZA).

Natalia is inspired by and connected to nature and actively shares this passion with those around her. I was able to virtually connect with Natalia last year and ask her a few questions about her passion for amphibians and work in biodiversity conservation.

Natalia Maruscak Doing Fieldwork

Natalia in the field.

Challenges

Natalia readily admits that her work is not always easy. She remarks that leading a group of volunteers means ensuring that their experience allows them to grow both individually and collectively. Though the global COVID-19 crisis prevented Natalia from organizing events and carrying out field studies, she and her team have used these challenges as opportunities to learn and grow.

Buenos Aires Toad Sapo

Handling toads with gloves to prevent disease transfer.

Current Projects

The SAVE THE FROGS! Buenos Aires team amplified their online presence by sharing resources on amphibian education and conservation through their social media, blog and newsletter. Natalia also encouraged her team to use the lockdown as an opportunity to reconnect with their own gardens and record the presence of amphibians. Her team is currently developing a project where students from a local secondary school will have the opportunity during their recess to observe the presence or absence of amphibians, as well as other environmental variables in their school garden. Natalia encourages young students who are passionate about nature and ecology to start volunteering for environmental organizations in order to gain practical experience alongside theoretical knowledge.

Ceratophrys Ornata Escuerzo Comun

Argentine Horned Frog (Ceratophrys ornata)

The Future Of Amphibians In Argentina

Despite the challenges of last year, Natalia remains optimistic about the future. Through her work with SAVE THE FROGS!, she unites communities through their shared curiosity about amphibians and actively promotes collective action that preserves biodiversity, increases sustainability efforts, and provides opportunities for more people to learn about biology and conservation. Though there is still so much work to do for amphibians around the world, Natalia believes that we are on the right path towards success.

Ranita hocicuda manchada (Scinax nasicus), the grumpy spotted frog!

How To Help

  • Become responsible consumers.
  • Use biodegradable products and read the labels of the products we buy.
  • Avoid plastic as much as possible.
  • Plant flowers and foliage that is native to our area in our gardens, neighborhoods and schools.
  • Learn how to create ponds in our gardens.
  • Become informed citizens! Demand that our elected officials create and support policies that favor the environment.
  • Follow SAVE THE FROGS! Buenos Aires on Instagram @buenosairesstf
  • Share the SAVE THE FROGS Buenos Aires message:
    “We can all help to save amphibians.”
  • Volunteer with SAVE THE FROGS!
  • Learn more and get involved on the SAVE THE FROGS! Buenos Aires homepage.

Special thanks to Bryony Whitehead for translation assistance with this interview!

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