Fort Lewis, Wash. – Biologists from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Fort Lewis, Oregon Zoo and Woodland Park Zoo will release approximately 80 juvenile frogs into the wild at Dailman Lake on Fort Lewis, Tuesday, November 17 at noon.
To help restore Washington state’s population of endangered Oregon spotted frogs (Rana pretiosa), approximately 80 juvenile frogs – weighing less than an ounce – will be released back to nature on Fort Lewis.
The nine-month-old, state-endangered frogs were collected from the wild as fertilized eggs and “head-started” at Woodland Park Zoo, Oregon Zoo and Cedar Creek Corrections Center to improve their chances of survival once they are released. They join 424 frogs released at the site earlier this fall.
Native to the Puget Lowlands extending from the Canadian border to the Columbia River, the Oregon spotted frog is near extinction due to loss of habitat, non-native predators and disease. It was listed as a Washington-state endangered species in 1997 and is a candidate for
federal listing. The reintroduction of the frog into a portion of its historic range is a five-year pilot program developed by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and other partner organizations to help prevent the frogs’ extinction.
Involvement of Cedar Creek Corrections Center near Olympia is the result of a partnership between The Evergreen State College and the Washington Department of Corrections that offers incarcerated men and women a chance to participate in science-based, conservation projects. Through the Sustainable Prisons Project, two inmates from Cedar Creek nurtured 67 frogs that will also be released.
Partners in the project include WDFW, Fort Lewis, Northwest Trek Wildlife Park, Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, Oregon Zoo, Washington State Department of Transportation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Woodland Park Zoo, Washington State Department of Corrections, The Evergreen State College, Port Blakely Tree Farms, Washington Department of Natural Resources, NW Zoo & Aquarium Alliance, U.S. Geological Survey, Mountain View Conservation & Breeding Centre and The Nature Conservancy.