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Southern Mountain Yellow-Legged Frogs

Once widespread in the San Gabriel, San Bernardino, San Jacinto, and southern Sierra Nevada mountains, the southern mountain yellow-legged frog is on the brink of extinction due to introduced predators, disease, pollution, and drought. The L.A. Zoo has successfully released more than 4,000 zoo-bred southern mountain yellow-legged frog tadpoles into the wild. The tadpoles were the offspring of two groups of adult frogs that the Zoo took into its care in 2014. The Zoo first established a breeding colony in its care in 2007, when we were asked to create an insurance population for this critically endangered species.

Since then, L.A. Zoo staff have contributed their husbandry expertise to the Southern Mountain Yellow-Legged Frog Recovery Program, a collaborative endeavor with the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research, Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Geological Survey, and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.