Protecting the Yellow-Legged Frogs and Yosemite Toads

On behalf of SAVE THE FROGS! and California’s endangered amphibians, on November 18th, 2013 SAVE THE FROGS! Founder Dr. Kerry Kriger submitted the following letter to the US Fish & Wildlife Service’s official call for public comment related to its proposal to protect three of California’s threatened amphibian species:

“I am a professional biologist with a Ph.D. in environmental science and over a decade of amphibian conservation experience. Amphibian populations have been rapidly disappearing in California and worldwide and nearly one-third of the world’s amphibian species are on the verge of extinction. Up to 200 species have completely disappeared since 1979. Frogs and other amphibians face an array of threats from climate change to habitat destruction; pesticide use; over-collection for frog legs and dissections; invasive species; and infectious diseases spread by human activity. Frogs eat mosquitoes; provide us with medical advances; serve as food for birds, fish and mammals; and their tadpoles filter our drinking water. Plus frogs look and sound cool, and kids love them — so there are lots of reasons to save the frogs!

The Yellow-Legged Frogs (Rana sierrae and Rana muscosa) are among the most well-studied frogs on the planet and their drastic population declines have been well-documented by many researchers. Declines in the the Yosemite Toads (Bufo canorus) have also been well-documented. It is extremely clear that without significant human intervention to protect these species they have a high likelihood of becoming completely extinct in the near future. As such, I support the USFWS proposal to list as endangered species the Sierra Nevada Yellow-Legged Frog, all populations of Mountain Yellow-Legged Frogs that occur north of the Tehachapi Mountains, and the Yosemite Toad. I also support the creation of vast tracts of critical habitat for these species, as this is a necessary step towards the species’ recovery.

Both American wildlife and American people as a whole will benefit significantly through the implementation of these actions. Thanks to the USFWS for helping SAVE THE FROGS!

Kerry M. Kriger, Ph.D.
Founder, Executive Director & Ecologist
Berkeley, CA”

Rana Sierrae