Endangered frogs going home after wildfire evacuation

April 18, 2012

The Chiricahua leopard frog is returning home. The rare amphibian was evacuated last summer when its habitat was destroyed by a mudslide in Southern Arizona. KJZZ’s Al Macias reports.

Chiricahua Leopard Frog The Chiricahua leopard frogs were evacuated from Southern Arizona following wildfires and kept at Glendale Community College. They're now going home. (Photo courtesy of Glendale Community College)
Chiricahua Leopard Frog Arizona Game and Fish biologists Mike Sredl and Christina Akins came to Glendale Community College to capture frogs and transport them to Ramsey Canyon. (Photo courtesy of Glendale Community College)

AL MACIAS: The Chiricahua leopard frog is considered a threatened species. Last summer, the Monument Fire swept through Southern Arizona and wildlife experts were worried about floods and mudslides. Arizona Game and Fish officers managed to round up 50 frogs and 62 tadpoles, before a mudslide destroyed the frogs’ pond. They were taken to Glendale Community College, which replicated their habitat on campus. Dr. Philip Fernandez is chair of the biology department. He says students were able to get a hands-on learning experience.

PHILIP FERNANDEZ:  Because of their threatened status these are not frogs that you can collect from nature or you can hold without specific permission from Fish and Game or the Wildlife Service, these would not have been accessible to students.

MACIAS: Fernandez says many females are carrying 600 to 800 eggs each that eventually could become tadpoles. Wednesday morning the frogs were netted, placed in baggies and returned to Ramsey Canyon in Southern Arizona.

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