January 24, 2012

State Listing Decision Nears for Mountain Yellow-legged Frog

On February 2, the California Fish and Game Commission will take up the issue of whether the mountain yellow-legged frog (Rana muscosa, Rana sierrae) should be listed as Threatened or Endangered under the California Endangered Species Act (ESA). This action was prompted by a listing petition [PDF] submitted by the Center for Biological Diversity in January 2010. Neither species currently has any special status under the California ESA, and the Center argued that those populations within California should be listed as Endangered. In response, during the last year the California Department of Fish and Game developed a Status Review [PDF] for both species, and concluded that listing of both species is warranted. 

At their February 2 meeting, the Commission will accept comments from the public regarding the listing petition or status review, and may vote on whether to list both species under the California ESA. Comments can also be sent to the Commission at the following address: Fish and Game Commission, 1416 Ninth Street, Box 944209, Sacramento, California 94244-2090 (or via e-mail to fgc@fgc.ca.gov). To be considered, comments must be received by the time of the February 2 meeting. The meeting starts at 8:30 AM in Sacramento, is open to the public, and will be broadcast live. The meeting agenda [PDF] states that the mountain yellow-legged frog item is the last item of the day, but there is no indication of at what time discussion of this item will begin.

The potential listing of both species under the U.S. Endangered Species Act also continues to move forward. As I've mentioned in previous posts, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) is leading a multi-agency effort to develop a Conservation Strategy for the mountain yellow-legged frog. At the recent California-Nevada Amphibian Populations Task Force meeting (Placerville, January 12-13), Steven Detweiler (USFWS) gave an update on the progress made to date. The group is tackling a range of challenging issues, including how best to restore mountain yellow-legged frog populations in the presence of chytridiomycosis (the disease caused by the amphibian chytrid fungus) and how to prioritize sites for restoration actions. A draft document is scheduled for release by the end of 2012. 

So, you can expect the mountain yellow-legged frog to be in the news a lot during the coming weeks and months. Stay tuned.

Back to The Mountain Yellow-legged Frog Site.