Here in western Washington, several different kinds of frogs are found, including Pacific tree frogs and red-legged frogs. One species of special concern to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) biologists is the Oregon spotted frog. Once widespread, this frog species may have been lost from at least 90 percent of its former range. Causes for the decline in frog populations include loss of habitat, non-native plant invasions, and the introduction of exotic predators such as bullfrogs.
|Oregon spotted frog eggs|
Females deposit egg masses in shallow, often temporary, pools no more than 6 inches deep. Sometimes, though, the frogs choose areas where the water level drops, leaving the eggs high and dry. As you can see from the picture below, several Oregon spotted frog pairs chose the same area to lay their eggs. This large mass, which contained 16 individual egg masses, was found in an area where the water level had dropped. With careful and gentle hands, the eggs were moved by one of our biologists into an area that contained a bit more water. There the eggs will be able to develop and, in a couple of weeks, little tadpoles will hatch out and begin to feed.
|Large egg mass before move to wetter habitat|
|Biologist's coat being used to move egg masses|
|Gently placing frog eggs in new home|
With some habitat protection, population monitoring, and a little assistance from their two-footed friends, these Oregon spotted frogs will hopefully continue this cycle for many years to come in western Washington.