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Endangered Frog Tadpoles Arrive at the Aquarium

The mountain yellow-legged frog tadpoles were rescued from the local wilderness after recent wildfires and brought to the Aquarium and other partner institutions as part of a survival plan for the species.

Mountain yellow-legged frog tadpole on rocks

Credit: Aquarium of the Pacific

September 9, 2021

The Aquarium is currently housing mountain yellow-legged frog tadpoles in a behind-the-scenes area as part of a survival plan for the species, which is endangered. They will be raised at the Aquarium with the goal of eventually releasing them back into the wild.

After wildfires scorched local mountains last fall, government wildlife agencies rescued the last remaining mountain yellow-legged frogs from these areas and placed them with local institutions like the Aquarium and other partners. The frogs will be cared for at these facilities until they can be safely released back into their native habitat.

Mountain yellow-legged frogs are native to California’s mountainous regions and depend on habitats in the San Gabriel, San Bernardino, and San Jacinto Mountains. Threats to their survival include extreme weather conditions that lead to wildfires and drought and the chytrid fungus that can cause life-threatening disease for amphibians.

Partners on this project include the Aquarium of the Pacific, United States Geological Survey, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Los Angeles Zoo, San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance, Santa Ana Zoo, Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, USDA Forest Service, the Wildlands Conservancy, and University of California, Los Angeles.

To help these frogs recover, you can support this conservation effort, stay on marked trails and paths and respect signs announcing off-limits areas when visiting local mountains, and reduce your carbon footprint.

Mountain Yellow-legged Frog

Closeup of adult mountain yellow-legged frog in pond

Mountain yellow-legged frog Credit: U.S. Geological Survey

Mountain yellow-legged frog tadpole group

Credit: Aquarium of the Pacific

Mountain yellow-legged frog tadpole closeup

Credit: Aquarium of the Pacific

Mountain yellow-legged frog tadpole enclosure

The tadpoles are being cared for in a behind-the-scenes lab, where water temperature and other parameters are set to match the species' native habitat. Credit: Aquarium of the Pacific