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Endangered Mountain Frogs Get a Second Chance in San Bernardino National Forest

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Submitted/ San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance
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Hundreds of endangered frogs were re-introduced into the San Bernardino National Forest on July 8. KVCR’s Megan Jamerson has more on the project to save Southern California’s population of Mountain Yellow-Legged frogs.

In video footage released by the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance, a team of scientists can be seen squatting near a pool of water in the San Jacinto mountains. They are holding those plastic containers with purple lids that you store leftovers in. With the tops off, dozens of tiny yellow speckled frogs leap to freedom.

 

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Credit Submitted/ San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance

This was the first of two releases planned for July that in total will reintroduce around 400 frogs to their native habitat.

For more than 20 years,  scientists from the San Diego Zoo, UCLA, the U.S. Forest Service, and state and federal wildlife agencies have been working together to save the Mountain Yellow-Legged Frog. Only 100 adults are estimated to be left in the wild.

The frogs have struggled to survive in Southern California where they have been hit hard by climate change, a fungus that has wiped out frog populations worldwide, non-native predators, and human activity. The goal is for the one-year-old frogs to thrive over the next few years on their own, growing the local population.

The frogs are native to the San Gabriel, San Bernardino, San Jacinto, and Palomar mountains.