California Fish and Game Commission Moves Ahead with Listings of Mountain Yellow-Legged Frog

As the Department of Fish and Game(DFG)  reported, at its February 2012 meeting the California Fish and Game Commission "moved to list the Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frog (Rana sierrae) as a threatened species and the southern mountain yellow-legged frog (R. muscosa) as an endangered species."  The latter is listed (pdf) as endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA), and a final rule (pdf) designating critical habitat for the species was promulgated in 2006.  The former is a candidate for listing under the federal ESA.

According to DFG, "Mountain yellow-legged frogs live in lakes, ponds, streams and meadows in the Sierra Nevada, Transverse and Peninsular mountain ranges of California."  DFG and the Commission, which are now acting to protect the species, likely contributed to its decline in the past by stocking alpine lakes in the State with non-native rainbow trout at the urging of the angling community.  As one journalist reported, other factors that have likely led to the decline of the species include pesticides and disease.  (Recordnet.com, Feb. 5, 2012, by Dana M. Nichols.)

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