Searching for unknown populations

AbbotsfordOSF2

Kristina Robbins with new Abbotsford OSF population. Photo: Monica Pearson

We’re always on the lookout for new populations. Our recovery goal is to have 10 healthy, stable, self-sustaining populations in BC, and if we find them, we don’t have to recover them! We also want to ensure we don’t inadvertently lose populations that could have been saved just because we didn’t know about them.

The species isn’t particularly well-known, even among field biologists and technicians that regularly work in freshwater aquatic systems in BC, and it’s likely they’re being mis-identified when found. We run identification workshops in the Spring (during the Capture-Mark-Recapture work) to teach naturalists and professionals how to identify and handle Oregon Spotted Frogs and Red-Legged Frogs in the field.

We also conduct egg mass surveys in new locations each year that appear to contain promising habitat with the range.

Our efforts are paying off!

In July 2014, a new population of Oregon Spotted Frog was discovered by a team of environmental consultants who were conducting ditch maintenance for the City of Abbotsford, in the McLennan watershed, located within the historic range of the precious frog, but was not known to be occupied.

In September 2014, OSFRT member Monica Pearson discovered a juvenile Oregon Spotted Frog during a site visit on farmland along in Elk Creek in Chilliwack.

In September 2015, a second population was discovered in Chilliwack by field technicians trapping for fish – they recognized a ‘different’ frog, and identified it as Oregon Spotted Frogs!

These three new populations have doubled our known breeding populations of Oregon Spotted Frogs in two years, and showcase the importance of getting knowledge of the species into the general consciousness.