In 2021, we received approximately 50 applications from the ASA Start-up Conservation Grants call. On the one hand, this high number of applications demonstrates there are amazing amphibian conservation projects being conducted worldwide. However, it also illustrates how many organisations are in urgent need of funding to conserve amphibians. Because our resources are unfortunately limited, the ASA is only able to fund a small proportion of the projects that have applied for our grants. However, because we consider all projects to be important for advancing amphibian conservation around the world, we would like to publicise them on our platforms, to help draw the attention of other funding entities, potential collaborators and/or partners.

Below you can learn more about the project Wetland Design to Provide Future Habitat for Red-legged Frogs in Baja California proposed by Fauna del Noroeste (Anny Peralta-Garciaanny.[email protected]).

The California Red Legged Frog (Rana draytonii) is the largest native frog in western North America and has lost over 75% of its range. In Baja California, Mexico they are confined to 10 sites with less than 50 individuals at each site, except for one site where conservation actions are being undertaken. With increasing threats to their survival, including habitat disturbance by livestock, exotic species, and chytridiomycosis, these populations might not hold on for much longer. The extreme isolation of remnant Baja California populations of this frog, along with the ongoing threats listed previously, highlights the need for fast conservation actions.

Based on the background information described above, and with the strong commitment of collaborators and supporters, we have outlined a recovery plan to stabilize existing populations’ numbers and long-term recovery plans to reconnect their historical range. As a first step, we plan to stabilize populations by increasing the number of wetlands around existing populations and increasing connectivity to encourage genetic movement and population growth.

To accomplish our goals in this phase, we plan to design and construct at least 12 wetlands. We are requesting support to cover the cost of wetland design on sites with Red-legged frog populations and at historical sites that will be used for reintroduction. The wetlands will be designed by Tom Biebighauser. Tom has many years of experience and has developed low-cost techniques for constructing and restoring wetlands that are currently used by the California red-legged frog for breeding. Once the wetlands are designed and agreements with landowners are achieved, we can proceed to secure funding for wetland construction. These wetlands will help to increase the size of remnant populations, and prepare historical sites for reintroduction. Wetland construction completed in California and in Baja California has been successful in recovering populations, at our pilot site in Baja California, frog population has triple in numbers in only three years. These actions will stop the continuous lost and extirpation of Baja California populations of Red-legged frogs, and will also provide habitat to other native species.

We are seeking for patrons and potentials donors to this initiative; we thank in advance all the help we may have. Please visit our website and help us save this species:

Photo: Rana draytonii (by J.A. Soriano)