Contact Us:
Ascent Environmental, Inc.
455 Capitol Mall, Suite 300
Sacramento, CA

Steve Henderson

Linda Leeman

Carlos Alvarado

USFWS Publishes Final Rule to List Three Sierra Nevada Amphibian Taxa
Yosemite toad (Anaxyrus canorus) photograph courtesy of Avery Cook.

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.

Ascent Environmental, Inc. is a forward-looking environmental consultancy. We offer our extensive CEQA and NEPA, regulatory compliance, climate action planning, and natural resources experience with the goal of providing personal service and high quality results to our clients on their most important projects. We are certified as a small business and women-owned business enterprise.
Copyright © 2014 Ascent Environmental, Inc., All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because your name is included in Ascent Environmental's list of clients, colleagues, and friends.