Yellow-Legged Frogs To Be Reintroduced to San Gabriel Mountains

by Tia Bailey

An endangered species of frogs has been released back into the San Gabriel Mountains. The yellow-legged frogs are “critically endangered.”

In 2020, the Bobcat Fire rampaged through the San Gabriel Mountains. Wildlife agencies were able to rescue the species, and for the past 2 years, 125 of the frogs were being raised at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach. Over 100 tadpoles hatched while in the aquarium.

According to ABC 7, “Experts learned from previous releases that the best time to set them free is when they have changed from tadpoles to froglets.”

The frogs were taken in coolers by six biologists led by U.S. Geological Survey biologists Adam Backlin and Elizabeth Gallegos. According to Backlin and Gallegos, because the climate is changing so rapidly, one of the most noticeable differences is the disappearance of the streams, and how it affects the yellow-legged frogs.

“A lot of streams have been taken over by recreational activities or simply dried up. As a result, the frog populations also declined or vanished,” Bracklin said to the Los Angeles Times.

The original plan was to release the frogs into 3 streams, but they had to change it up a bit. One of the streams had dried up just last month.

Thankfully, since released, the number of yellow-legged frogs has doubled.

“Once these frogs were almost everywhere,” Gallegos said. “One of our biggest struggles now is just finding habitat that will still be there in a few years.”

TikTok Trend Involving Frogs and Ladybugs Could Damage Environment

A few months ago this summer, a potentially detrimental TikTok trend was going around. The trend involved two people, one who decided to raise thousands of frog eggs in their backyard, and another bought 250,000 ladybugs.

They did this under the ruse that it would be good for the environment by putting out more of the animals, but instead, environmentalists were very against this.

“It makes me cringe,” Tierra Curry, a conservation biologist at the Center for Biological Diversity, told The Guardian. “Instead of helping, [they] are actually hurting the animals they’re releasing and all the animals in the environment that they’re releasing them into—it’s creating a vector for disease and invasive species.” 

Chris Nagano worked 27 years as an endangered species biologist at the US Fish and Wildlife Service. He also shared a statement about the situation.

“It’s the law of unintended consequences. I have no doubt this person may have thought he was doing a good thing, but he may actually be driving these populations to extinction,” he said.

The TikTokers’ plans quickly went awry. The amount of frogs was way too much for the small pond that they were kept in. The ladybug person was sued and had to serve house arrest and fees.