From The Center for Biological Diversity (CBD), December 23, 2015
Endangered Species Act Protection Sought for Rare Frog in California, Oregon
The Center for Biological Diversity today filed a notice of intent to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over its lengthy delay in deciding whether to extend Endangered Species Act protection to the foothill yellow-legged frog, which has disappeared from more than half its historical streams in California and Oregon. These stream-dwelling amphibians face a host of threats, including dams and water diversions, logging, mining, livestock grazing, roads, marijuana cultivation, off-road vehicles, climate change, pollution, invasive species and disease.
“Protecting the foothill yellow-legged frog means protecting the rivers and streams we already love and rely on for recreation, wilderness qualities, open space and drinking water,” said the Center’s Jeff Miller. “With nearly a third of the world’s amphibians in danger of extinction, we should be paying attention when one of our native frogs is in rapid decline.”
The 1.5- to 3-inch-long frogs, with distinctive lemon-yellow color under their legs, live in low-elevation streams in Pacific Coast drainages, from the Willamette River basin in Oregon south to the San Gabriel River in Los Angeles County, Calif., as well as the lower western slopes of the Sierra Nevada mountains. They have disappeared from many portions of their historical range, especially in Southern California and in Oregon. Foothill yellow-legged frog populations have declined severely in the southern Sierra Nevada, central California coast, Bay Area, Southern California coast and central Oregon. Each of these areas may contain distinct populations or subspecies of yellow-legged frogs.