Two thousand captive bred and hatched northern leopard frog tadpoles — the most at-risk amphibian in B.C. —were released into the marshes of the Columbia Wetlands on May 26th

Two thousand captive bred and hatched northern leopard frog tadpoles — the most at-risk amphibian in B.C. —were released into the marshes of the Columbia Wetlands on May 26th

Endangered frog takes a leap forward

The endangered northern leopard frog, the most at-risk amphibian in British Columbia, is taking a leap forward on its path to recovery

The endangered northern leopard frog (Lithobates pipiens), the most at-risk amphibian in British Columbia, is taking a leap forward on its path to recovery, largely due to the coordinated work of the Northern Leopard Frog Recovery Team.

“These are exciting days and it has taken much effort by many partners to get here,” says Dr. Purnima Govindarajulu, chair of the Recovery Team and Small Mammal and Herpetofauna Specialist with the B.C. Ministry of Environment. “The collective effort is bearing fruit. Two thousand captive bred and hatched tadpoles (were) released into the Columbia Marshes on May 26th.”

In the 1970s, populations of northern leopard frogs across western Canada declined sharply, especially in British Columbia. Scientists are still working to determine the cause of these sharp declines in the Rocky Mountain population which is listed as Endangered by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC). The species is also on the provincial Red List.

Since 2009, a small number of northern leopard frog eggs from the wild were brought to the Vancouver Aquarium to create an “Assurance population” in case the population in the wild went extinct.

“The Rocky Mountain population of the northern leopard frogs is yet another example of an amphibian species experiencing steep population declines during the past few decades. This is a concern because amphibians are key indicators of the health of the ecosystems in which they live, and the decline of one species can dramatically affect others,” says Dr. Dennis Thoney, Vancouver Aquarium’s director of animal operations. “The Vancouver Aquarium is committed to breeding these frogs to help build up depleting wild populations before they become extinct in B.C., while also strengthening an assurance population.”

Last year, the Vancouver Aquarium successfully bred the B.C. northern Leopard frogs in captivity for the first time. For the second year in a row these captive bred and hatched tadpoles will be released into the wild as a step towards bringing northern leopard frogs back to their historic range in British Columbia.

Although once found at many sites in the Kootenay and Okanagan regions, northern leopard frog populations had dwindled to the point where only one wild population existed — in the Creston Valley. As part of the recovery effort for this species, a second population was reintroduced in the Upper Kootenay Floodplain, near Bummers Flats in 2004. Last year a third reintroduced population was started at a site in the Columbia Marshes, representing another small step in the species recovery.

The funding for the extensive survey, assessment and monitoring work that went into starting a reintroduced population of northern leopard frogs in the Columbia Marshes was provided by the residents of the Upper Columbia Valley who voted in 2008 to direct a portion of their tax dollars to the Columbia Valley Local Conservation Fund. This is a landmark for citizen-funded conservation, where local taxpayers support conservation projects in their region. The next step will be to monitor the reintroduction program to determine its long term success.

“There are still challenges to face before the northern leopard frog can be down-listed from its current ‘red’ status of conservation concern,” added Govindarajulu. “However, with the tremendous work and dedication of all the partners involved, we do believe that the northern leopard frogs will, once again, be hopping across their historic range in B.C.”

 

Just Posted

The end of an Echo
The end of an Echo

Invermere Valley Echo shuts down operations in Columbia Valley

Creating a new narrative for Canal Flats

Economic development consultant hired, lists vision for next 90 days

Princeton wildfire phots courtesy of Debbie Lyon.
UPDATE: Crews battle as wildfires rage in B.C. Interior

Crews brace for another day on B.C. firelines as no let up is likely

VIDEO: B.C. wildfires by the numbers
VIDEO: B.C. wildfires by the numbers

Wildfires continue to engulf regions of B.C.’s forests and communities.

Aerial view south of Williams Lake Friday afternoon shows dry lightning storm passing over, leaving fire starts behind. Lightning sparked more than 100 new fires Friday. (Black Press)
VIDEO: More than 180 wildfires burning across B.C.

Firefighters from other provinces called in to assist

DTSS Grad March 2017
DTSS Grad March 2017

DTSS Grad March 2017

59 cats seized in Chase
59 cats seized in Chase

59 neglected and injured cats were seized from a property in Chase

(Flickr/Andreas Eldh)
Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell dead at age 52

The singer/songwriter passed away early Thursday morning in Detroit

Paying tribute to a primeval passage
Paying tribute to a primeval passage

Uninterrupted celebrates the Adams River sockeye run in an extraordinary way.

UPDATE: Pemberton Music Festival cancelled, no automatic refunds
UPDATE: Pemberton Music Festival cancelled, no automatic refunds

In the past, the music festival located in Pemberton drew large crowds last year of 180,000 fans

Photo by: WeissPaarz.com
Medical wait times cost B.C. patients $2,300 each

New Fraser Institute report places B.C. at second worst in costs associated with long wait times

UPDATE: 22 killed at Ariana Grande concert
UPDATE: 22 killed at Ariana Grande concert

Witnesses reported hearing two loud bangs coming from near the arena’s bars at about 10:35 p.m.

A university study finds that about nine per cent of Canada’s Grade 11 and 12 students – roughly 66,000 teens – have driven within an hour of drinking and 9.4 per cent drove after using marijuana.                                 Photo: Now-
Leader file
One in three Canadian high school students have rode with drinking drivers, study reveals

Nearly one in five rode with a driver who’d been smoking pot

Top court to hear federal government’s appeal on residential school records
Top court to hear federal government’s appeal on residential school records

A lower court judge ruled to destroy the stories after 15 years unless consent is given to preserve

Most Read