On April 29, 2014, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) published its final rule
to list the Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frog (Rana sierrae -
endangered), the northern distinct population segment (DPS) of the mountain yellow-legged frog (Rana muscosa -
endangered), and the Yosemite toad (Anaxyrus canorus -
threatened) under the federal Endangered Species Act. The rule becomes effective on June 30, 2014.
The Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frog occurs in the western Sierra from north of the Monarch Divide in Fresno County, and on the East Slope from Inyo County to north of Lake Tahoe. The northern DPS of the mountain yellow-legged frog is restricted to the western Sierra from south of the Monarch Divide to the Kern River watershed. Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frog and mountain yellow-legged frog are associated with upper elevation lakes, ponds, bogs, and slow-moving alpine streams
Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frog (Rana sierrae) by photographer: Devin Edmonds, USGS [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
The Yosemite toad’s range extends from the Blue Lakes region of Alpine County north of Ebbetts Pass to south of Evolution Lake in Fresno County. Yosemite toads are primarily associated with wet meadows in montane forest areas, but also occur along lake margins, streams, and pools with meadow or riparian scrub vegetation.
USFWS determined that both the Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frog and the northern DPS of the mountain yellow-legged frog are in danger of extinction throughout their ranges. Primary threats to these species are habitat degradation and fragmentation, predation and disease, climate change, or the interaction of these factors. The Yosemite toad is likely to become endangered throughout its range due primarily to the cumulative loss and degradation of meadow habitats, particularly degradation of meadow hydrology, as a result of livestock grazing, fire suppression, roads and timber harvest, climate change, and other factors.
USFWS expects to finalize critical habitat designations for the three species in the near future.
Please refer to the Federal Register
for detailed information on the species’ range and distribution, habitat associations, population threats, and listing history.
The species will now be protected from take, unless authorized under Section 7 or 10(a) of the Endangered Species Act.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Ascent biologists, Linda Leeman, Steve Henderson, or Carlos Alvarado.