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.


  1. Roland:
    For those of us who are stamp-challenged (uh, where'd the post office go??), do they have a way to submit comments by email?



  2. Hi George. I should have included an email address in my original post (I've added that now) - my apologies. Comments can be sent to the Fish and Game Commission at fgc@fgc.ca.gov.

  3. I also just updated the original post with a link to (1) the Fish and Game Commission meeting agenda, and (2) the website that will provide a live video and audio stream of the meeting.

  4. The pdf's are a good read and response to the petition. So... If/when MYLF gets listed, what might that mean? I know that's a loaded question. I still had to ask.


  5. Hi Russ. It is hard to know. Under a pessimistic scenario, there will be a whole new layer of permitting challenges that will discourage any new research on the frog, research that is needed to reverse the decline of both species. In a more optimistic view, the listing will result in additional resources being available to implement conservation actions on behalf of both species. I'll write more about this after the February 2 meeting.

  6. I was watching national geographic about Yosemite Park this afternoon and I heard that airline gas/pollution has made this frog in the extinction list.They said ten years ago the mountian yellow legged frog was one of the most thriving amphibians there. But now they say that the frogs population has decreased 95%!.