The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is initiating an evaluation to determine whether or not to list the Oregon spotted frog as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act.
To assist in this analysis, the federal agency is requesting information related to the species, which is currently a candidate species considered warranted for ESA listing. The USFWS says it is particularly interested in collaborating with local, regional and tribal partners to gather status information and consider potential conservation actions affecting this species.
The agency has been monitoring the status of the Oregon spotted frog since its 1993 determination that the species warranted listing but any action was precluded by higher priorities. Since then the USFWS has continued to monitor the species’ status annually, as is done for all candidate species.
The Oregon spotted frog is the most aquatic native frog in the Pacific Northwest. Currently, this species is known to inhabit emergent wetland habitats from extreme southwestern British Columbia south through the east side of the Puget/Willamette Valley Trough and the Columbia River Gorge in south-central Washington to the Cascades Range and the Klamath Valley in Oregon. It is believed to have been extirpated from California.
The Oregon spotted frog is named for the black spots that cover the head, back, sides, and legs. Its body color varies with age and locale. Juveniles are usually brown or, occasionally, olive green on the back and white or cream with reddish pigments on the underlegs and abdomen. Adults range from brown to reddish brown but tend to become redder with age.
Multiple factors are believed to have caused Oregon spotted frogs to decline and may continue to threaten this species. These include destruction, modification, and curtailment of the species’ range and available habitat and introduction of exotic predators such as bullfrogs.
To ensure this information gathering is comprehensive, the Service is requesting scientific and commercial data and other information regarding this species and its habitat. To be most helpful it is important to receive any information prior to April 20, 2012. Anyone with information should send it to: Deanna Lynch, Fish and Wildlife Biologist, Division of Listing and Recovery, USFWS, 510 Desmond Drive, Lacey, WA 98503 or Deanna_Lynch@fws.gov.