We need your help financing the restoration of wetlands that can save the California red-legged frog in Mexico and the United States. Save The Frogs and the Sheltowee Environmental Education Coalition helped finance the design of 12-wetlands in Baja California, Mexico to provide habitat for the California red-legged frog and the Western Pond Turtle. The wetland projects were designed in December, 2021 by Dra. Anny Peralta (Fauna del Noroeste A.C.), Thomas R. Biebighauser (Sheltowee Environmental Education Coalition) Dan Taylor (Bat Conservation International), and Jorge Valdez (Fauna del Noroeste A.C.).
The California red-legged frog (Rana draytonii) is the largest native frog in western North America and has lost over 70-percent of its range in California. In Baja California Mexico they are confined to 10 sites with less than 50 individuals at each site. With increasing threats to their survival, including habitat disturbance by livestock, exotic species, and chytridiomycosis, these populations might not hold on for much longer. Genetic analyses of these small populations also indicated genetic diversity values lower when compared to similar populations in California. The extreme isolation of remnant Baja California populations of Rana draytonii, along with the ongoing threats listed above, highlights the need for fast conservation actions. Based on the background information described above, and with the strong commitment of collaborators and supporters, we have developed a recovery plan will stabilize exist population numbers and long-term recovery plans to reconnect their historical range. As a first step we plant to stabilize populations by increasing the number of wetlands around existing populations and increasing connectivity to encourage genetic movement and population growth.
Partners for this project include SAVE THE FROGS!, Fauna del Noroeste, Bat Conservation International, Wetland Restoration and Training LLC, San Diego Natural History Museum and numerous private landowners in northwestern Mexico.
The California red-legged frog in Baja California, Mexico is in trouble. Surveys conducted on the El Potrero Ranch by Dra. Anny Peralta Garcia and Jorge H. Valdez Villavicencio with Fauna del Noroeste, A.C. found only 8 individual California red-legged frogs remaining on the ranch this spring, with no wetlands suitable for breeding. The few remaining California red-legged frogs were laying their eggs in a stream where they were being eaten by rainbow trout. One of the marked frogs is 13-years old, and none knows how many more years the remaining frogs have left to live.
Emergency action was taken by Fauna del Noroeste, A.C personnel to build two large wetlands on the El Potrero Ranch in October 2023. Designed to contain water 2-meters deep year around, they filled naturally with groundwater within two-days of construction. The California red-legged frog is expected to soon find these new wetlands and use them for breeding in 2024.
The construction of the wetlands was performed by a local heavy equipment contractor, with on the ground supervision provided by Thomas R. Biebighauser, Wildlife Biologist and Wetland Ecologist with the Sheltowee Environmental Education Coalition. The project was funded with a generous grant from Lush Cosmetics.
There is an urgent need to build additional wetlands on the El Potrero Ranch and the El Molino Ranch, both near San Vicente, Baja California, Mexico. Wetland projects have been designed by Tom Biebighauser and Fauna del Noroeste, A.C personnel on both ranches that would provide critical breeding habitat for the California red-legged frog and the Western Pond turtle. The wetlands may be built to survive climate change, without the use of dams, diversions, pumps, or wells that require maintenance. You may donate the money needed to build one or more of these wetlands on this website.