Yosemite Releases 250 California Red-Legged Frogs in Reintroduction Effort

Yosemite National Park officials have recently released 250 California red-legged frogs (CRLF) across various sites in Yosemite Valley as part of an ongoing reintroduction strategy known as population augmentation.

The frogs, now one year old, began their journey as eggs at the San Francisco Zoo in March last year. During their growth, they consumed an impressive 70,000 crickets a week, enabling them to metamorphose into adults under careful watch.

These newly released frogs are expected to diversify gene flow and aid migration within already self-sustaining CRLF populations, as indicated by egg mass surveys conducted in Yosemite Valley earlier this year. The goal is for these individuals to strengthen the genetic diversity and overall resilience of the species in the park.

Reintroduction outcomes are never guaranteed, but the presence of CRLF in Yosemite Valley, after 50 years of absence, is a promising sign of success for efforts initiated in 2016.

While some frogs were hesitant to enter the water, most eagerly leapt from their releasers’ hands and swam away, showcasing their readiness to adapt to their new environment. Officials hope to see this group of frogs thrive, following the positive trajectory of previous reintroduction efforts.

This reintroduction work has been a collaborative effort involving the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, NatureBridge, San Francisco Zoo, and donors from Yosemite Conservancy.

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