Frogs from Aldergrove zoo leg it to new homes in wild

The latest generation of Oregon spotted frogs have been released into the wild by the Greater Vancouver Zoo.

Recently, the conservation program run out of the zoo for several years released 127 captive-bred frogs into a natural wetland near Aldergrove.

The area has been specially enhanced in the past to meet the frogs’ needs for habitat.

The frogs are listed as vulnerable internationally, and as endangered in Canada by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. The main force making the frogs harder to find is the loss of wetland, as land has been drained for farms, housing, and roads.

Also threatening the small amphibians are introduced American bullfrogs, green frogs, and predatory fish, all of which eat tadpoles and small Oregon spotted frogs.

There are just four sites in B.C. known to host wild populations of the frogs, including three around Agassiz. The fourth, located some years back, is in Aldergrove.

The Oregon spotted frog is just one project the zoo has been working on.

Last year the zoo raised western painted turtles from eggs.

The small turtles are a local species that, like the frogs, are threatened by habitat loss and invasive species taking over their territory.

The project at the zoo goes back almost 15 years, with the breeding project running for a decade.

The Oregon Spotted Frog Recovery Team includes a large number of organizations, including biologists from the B.C. Ministry of the Environment, various federal agencies, the Sto:lo Tribal Council, zoos and aquariums, and several universities and conservation groups.

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