Throughout much of the Pacific Coast and Sierra Nevada drainages, the once abundant Foothill Yellow-legged frog (Rana boylii) has been disappearing, mainly due to habitat destruction, water diversion and pollution. In 2005, only 30 California sites had populations of 20 or more adults, including in the heart of their range in California’s north coast where the frogs have lost a quarter of their historic sites. On December 14, 2016, the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) formally petitioned the US Fish And Wildlife Service to list the Foothill Yellow-legged frog as a threatened species under the California Endangered Species Act. This joins the the CBD’s 2012 petition for federal listing under the Endangered Species Act. Hopefully the state can act to protect this frog faster than the federal officials, which is expected to make a decision in 2020, none too soon for a disappearing species.

Photo ©  William Flaxington

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