Quantcast

Huge Win for the Oregon Spotted Frog

Animals

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service designated 65,038 acres and 20.3 river miles of critical habitat Monday for Oregon spotted frogs in Oregon and Washington. The frogs were protected as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act in 2014 in response to a petition and lawsuit from the Center for Biological Diversity. Once abundant from British Columbia to California, spotted frogs have disappeared from 90 percent of their former range.

The Oregon spotted frog. Photo credit: Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife

“This important habitat protection is good news for Oregon spotted frogs and for future generations because we can’t save endangered species without protecting their homes,” Tierra Curry, a senior scientist at the Center for Biological Diversity, said. “Protecting this critical habitat will not only benefit the frogs but will also improve the health of wetlands and rivers that benefit millions of people and a host of other wildlife species.”

The Oregon spotted frog was put on the candidate waiting list for federal protection in 1991. The Center for Biological Diversity and allies petitioned for the frog’s protection in 2004 and entered into a settlement agreement with the service in 2011 requiring a decision on the frog’s protection. It was protected as a threatened species in 2014, after 23 years on the waiting list.

The critical habitat protected for the frog is in 14 separate units in Deschutes, Jackson, Klamath, Lane and Wasco counties in Oregon and Klickitat, Skagit, Skamania, Thurston and Whatcom counties in Washington. It is illegal for federal agencies to fund or permit actions that destroy or adversely modify critical habitat.

The Oregon spotted frog once occurred throughout the Willamette Valley, Puget Trough and elsewhere. Today there are fewer than 100 known sites where the frog still survives and it is likely extirpated in California. Most remaining populations are in Oregon.

The Oregon spotted frog is 4 inches long and calls while under water. It is a highly aquatic frog and needs clean water and stable flows for egg-laying, tadpole development and adult overwintering. The species is threatened by loss of wetlands, poor river management that forces artificial flows, reduced water quality, drought, invasive species and other threats.

Worldwide, more than one-third of amphibian species are threatened with extinction.

“Amphibians have been on the planet for millions of years and when they start dying off it’s a wakeup call that we need to take better care of our resources,” Curry said.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Jane Goodall Among 58 Scientists Urging Government to Halt Grizzly De-Listing

‘Human Swan’ Joins 4,500-Mile Migration to Help Save the Species

One of the World’s Most Endangered Turtles Nearly Extinct With Fewer Than 10 Left in the Wild

3 Frog Species That Depend on the Very Unique Habitat of Vernal Pools

Show Comments ()

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Mark Wilson / Getty Images News

Ethics investigations have been opened into the conduct of senior Trump appointees at the nation's top environmental agencies.

The two investigations focus on Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler and six high-ranking officials in the Department of Interior (DOI), The Hill reported Tuesday. Both of them involve the officials' former clients or employers.

"This is demonstrative of the failures at the very top of this administration to set an ethical tone," Campaign Legal Center Ethics Counsel Delaney Marsco told The Washington Post of the DOI investigation. "When people come to work for government, they're supposed to work on behalf of the public. It's a betrayal of the public trust when senior political appointees seem to give privileged access to their former employers or former clients."

Read More Show Less
Cigarette butt litter. Tavallai / CC BY-ND 2.0

By Dipika Kadaba

We've known for more than 50 years that smoking cigarettes comes with health hazards, but it turns out those discarded butts are harmful for the environment, too. Filtered cigarette butts, although small, contain dozens of chemicals, including arsenic and benzene. These toxins can leach into the ground or water, creating a potentially deadly situation for nearby birds, fish and other wildlife.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Thanasis Zovoilis / DigitalVision / Getty Images

Infants less than a year old should not be exposed to electronic screens, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday.

Read More Show Less
Bill Pugliano / Getty Images

By Wenonah Hauter

Five years ago this week, an emergency manager appointed by then-Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder made the devastating decision to save money by switching Flint's water supply over from Detroit's water system to the Flint River. Seen as a temporary fix, the new water supply was not properly treated. High levels of lead leached from the old pipes, poisoning a generation of Flint's children, and bacteria responsible for an outbreak of Legionnaires' Disease killed more than a dozen residents.

Read More Show Less
Los Angeles-Long Beach, California is listed as the nation's smoggiest city. Pixabay

Seven million more Americans lived in areas with unhealthy levels of air pollution between 2015 and 2017 than between 2014 and 2016, and climate change is partly to blame, Time reported Wednesday.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Kissing bug. Pavel Kirillov / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed that the kissing bug, which can transmit a potentially deadly parasite, has spread to Delaware, ABC News reported Wednesday.

Read More Show Less
"Take the pledge today." Screenshot / StopFoodWasteDay.com

Did you know that more than a third of food is wasted or thrown away every year? And that only 25 percent of it would be enough to feed the 795 million undernourished people in the world? That's why today is Stop Food Waste Day, a chance to reflect on what you can do to waste less of the food you buy.

Stop Food Waste Day is an initiative of food service company Compass Group. It was launched first in the U.S, in 2017 and went global the year after, making today it's second worldwide celebration.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Franziska Spritzler, RD, CDE

Berries are among the healthiest foods you can eat.

Read More Show Less