Hundreds of Rare, Endangered Frogs Given Valid Freedom in Washington
Northwest Trek Wildlife Park-Twitter
Several hundred northern leopard frogs were released into their natural habitat.
The Northwest Trek Wildlife Park, a wildlife sanctuary in Eatonville posted the event on Twitter.
Describe the northern leopard frog
According to the National Park Service:
The northern leopard frog is a smooth-skinned, green, brown, or sometimes yellow-green frog covered with large, oval dark spots, each of which is surrounded by a lighter halo or border. It has a white to cream-colored underside and distinct, unbroken paler dorsolateral ridges, or fins, along both sides of the back. A large northern leopard frog is about 11.5 cm (4.5 in) in length. Females are slightly larger than males.
The lifespan of a northern leopard frog is typically 5-8 years. Adults eat spiders and crustaceans, while tadpoles snack on algae and plants. Mating takes place in the water. A female will lay thousands of eggs. Then, the male will fertilize, and in about a week, tiny tadpoles will hatch.
Why are northern leopard frogs considered endangered?
Over the past thirty years, the northern leopard frog has suffered dramatic declines in the number and health of functioning metapopulations across its western range. A number of factors have contributed to this decline, including habitat loss and degradation; introduction of exotic predators, such as nonnative fish, bullfrogs, and crayfish; introduction of disease and pesticides; and climate change effects on aquatic habitats.
Where is the Columbia National Wildlife Refuge?
It's 30,000 acres of canyons, lakes, grasslands, sagebrush, and cliffs in Othello. The refuge has a variety of habitats. I believe the northern leopard frogs will do just fine here.
Learn more about the Columbia National Refuge here.