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Two Sierra Frogs May Be In Danger

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(South Lake Tahoe, CA)
Thursday, May 9, 2013

Researchers have recorded the call of the Sierra Nevada and Mountain Yellow Legged Frogs and posted them on the internet, but in the wild this call is fading.

U.S. Forest Service Biologist Holly Eddinger.

'"Well if you go out to a lake and you do happen to see an adult frog jumping around or sitting on a rock or sunning itself, the best thing to do is not to chase it, try to pick it up, because it is likely there are only one or two of them around and what we want to do is leave them where they are at, take a picture."

One of the habitats is Tamarac Lake in the Desolation Wilderness south of Lake Tahoe. It's a 4-mile hike, up 8 thousand feet, over white granite, through streams and across snow fields. This is one of 32 proposed critical habitats for the Sierra Nevada and Mountain Yellow Legged Frogs.

The Forest Service has known the frogs are in trouble since 1998. Drought has dried up their range, a fungus make it harder for them to eat while non-native fish eat tadpoles so, the Forest Service removed thousands of non-native fish from lakes like Tamarac.

"We are pretty confident that we have provided the habitat. So we are giving it our best shot. And it is one of those that you don't want to see a species disappear while you are standing there, so yeah, it is difficult."

The frogs need to hang on for one more year. The Fish and Wildlife Service estimates it will take that long for the frogs to listed as endangered species.

The public comment period on listing the Northern and Mountain Yellow Legged Frog ends June 24th. Listen to more frog sounds here.

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