The California Red-Legged Frog (Rana draytonii) unfortunately ranked 4th in the list of America's Top 10 Most Threatened Frogs! They are currently listed as Federally Threatened.
The California Red-Legged Frog is the largest native frog to the western United States. They were among the most abundant amphibians in California until the late 19th century when the California gold miners nearly ate them to extinction, consuming about 80,000 frogs per year. The red-legged frogs no longer have to fear the fork, but they are still eaten in large numbers by invasive American Bullfrogs, a harmful invasive species that has become widespread in California. The bullfrogs also compete with the red-legged frogs for food resources and spread infectious diseases to the native frog populations. Unfortunately, the bullfrogs are not the only problem the California Red-Legged Frogs have to contend with: rampant habitat destruction has significantly reduced the number of suitable breeding locations for the frogs; invasive weeds degrade the frogs' upland habitat, and introduced fish species eat the eggs and tadpoles.
The California red-legged frog was harvested for food in the San Francisco Bay area and the Central Valley during the late 1800's and early 1900's. About 80,000 frogs were harvested annually between 1890 and 1900...according to http://www.fws.gov/cno/news/1996/9626nr.htm
Please read about our efforts to save the California Red-Legged Frogs at the Sharp Park Wetlands.
SAVE THE FROGS! is currently working to restore habitat for California Red-Legged Frogs at Antonelli Pond in Santa Cruz, CA. By involving the community in efforts to plant native vegetation, and to eradicate invasive weeds, predatory fish and bullfrogs at Antonelli Pond, we will not only educate the public about the importance of frogs, but we will ensure that California Red-Legged Frogs are here for future generations to enjoy.
Our efforts at Antonelli Pond our only the beginning of our efforts to restore habitat for these frogs across California: pond by pond we will ensure that these frogs have healthy places to live and reproduce. Please support our efforts to save this iconic threatened frog species from extinction. Thanks! SAVE THE FROGS!
"The decline of California Red-Legged Frog signals a lack of diversity and environmental quality in wetlands and streams that are essential to clean water and the survival of most fish and wildlife species"
--Ramekon O'Arwisters; Curator of Exhibition, SFO Museum, San Francisco International Airport
- Our campaign to get the state to ban the importation of non-native American Bullfrogs
- Documentary on the history of and current threats to the red-legged frogs
- Save The Frogs Day events
- Taking kids to see wild frogs in their native habitats
- Getting the red-legged frog named as our state frog
- Creating Fact sheets about CA frogs