Fish and Game Commission Moves to Protect Mountain Yellow-Legged Frogs
February 3, 2012
Mitch Lockhart, DFG Fisheries Branch, (916) 323-3422
Kirsten Macintyre, DFG Communications, (916) 322-8988
The Fish and Game Commission has voted unanimously to protect two species of native frogs under the California Endangered Species Act (CESA). The unanimous vote was taken at the Commission’s Feb. 2 meeting in Sacramento.
Following recommendations from the California Department of Fish and Game (DFG), the Commission moved to list the Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frog (Rana sierrae) as a threatened species and the southern mountain yellow-legged frog (R. muscosa) as an endangered species. Collectively the two species of frogs are commonly known as the mountain yellow-legged frog.
Under protection afforded listed species by CESA, the “take” (harming or capturing) of mountain yellow-legged frogs will be illegal without prior authorization from DFG.
Mountain yellow-legged frogs live in lakes, ponds, streams and meadows in the Sierra Nevada, Transverse and Peninsular mountain ranges of California. They have disappeared from more than 75 percent of their historical habitats, largely due to the introduction of trout to high elevation water bodies and the spread of a potent fungal pathogen implicated in amphibian extinctions worldwide.
DFG’s High Mountain Waters program has been at the forefront of mountain yellow-legged frog conservation and management efforts since the mid-1990s. The program has collaborated with federal agencies to restore mountain yellow-legged frog habitat, support important research and provide recreational angling opportunity in a manner that does not conflict with mountain yellow-legged frog recovery efforts.