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Endangered Oregon Spotted Frog population makes leap forward

The Greater Vancouver Zoo is helping build back the endangered Oregon Spotted Frog species with a release of eggs. This was the first year the zoo was able to breed the frogs in a captive environment. - Submitted
The Greater Vancouver Zoo is helping build back the endangered Oregon Spotted Frog species with a release of eggs. This was the first year the zoo was able to breed the frogs in a captive environment.
— image credit: Submitted

The endangered Oregon spotted frog has hope for a comeback thanks to the Greater Vancouver Zoo.

On Friday, staff from the zoo, along with wildlife biologists from the Oregon Spotted Frog Recovery Team released tadpoles into their natural wetland environment near Agassiz, in an area specifically modified and enhanced to meet the frogs' habitat needs.

"We are extremely proud as this was the first year that we attempted breeding the frogs in a captive environment, which proved to be very successful," said zoo manager Jody Henderson.

It is hoped that these tadpoles, in addition to frogs reared throughout the summer, will survive till breeding age ensuring the survival of this unique species in Canada.

Oregon Spotted Frogs are endangered because they constantly face threats from tremendous loss of suitable habitat due to draining of wetlands, overcrowding of bullfrogs, green frogs and predatory fish that eat the tadpoles and young frogs. Another potential threat is the chytrid fungus which is native to Africa and has caused significant loss of amphibian populations in many parts of the world.

The Oregon Spotted Frog is now limited to four sites within B.C., one in the Aldergrove area and three in the Agassiz area.  The Oregon Spotted Frog Recovery Team was formed in 1999. Since then, the Zoo has been actively involved with the recovery team and the breeding program.

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