Action timeline

June 4, 1998 – The Center submitted a scientific petition to list the Chiricahua leopard frog as a federally endangered species. The petition went unacknowledged.

August 25, 1999 – The Center filed a lawsuit to compel a response to the petition.

2001 – The Center filed a second lawsuit.

June 13, 2002 – The Center gained a threatened listing for the frog, but the species was still without critical habitat. In fact, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service added a unique special rule to the frog’s listing, encouraging cattlemen to continue their regular management of livestock tanks harboring Chiricahua leopard frog populations.

February 7, 2007 – With the leopard frog at risk of becoming an endangered species in the foreseeable future, the Center became part of the stakeholders’ group that developed the federal plan to recover the frog. We advocated for lessening cattle, preserving springs, and removing bullfrogs on several grazing allotments.

December 28, 2009 – The Center filed a notice of intent to sue the Fish and Wildlife Service in 60 days to protect the Chiricahua leopard frog from livestock grazing in the Fossil Creek watershed.

July 20, 2010 – The Center sued the U.S. Forest Service for failing to monitor and protect habitat and endangered species in Arizona and New Mexico national forests — including the southwestern willow flycatcher, New Mexico ridge-nosed rattlesnake, Chiricahua leopard frog, Apache trout, loach minnow, Mexican spotted owl and spikedace.

August 2010 – A release of 1,500 young captive-bred Chiricahua leopard frogs in pools in Tonto National Forest brought the total number of reintroduced frogs to 10,000.

March 14, 2011 – The Fish and Wildlife Service proposed to protect 11,136 acres of critical habitat for the Chiricahua leopard frog.

May 12, 2011 – The Center called upon the Fish and Wildlife Service to increase its proposed critical habitat protection for the rare Chiricahua leopard frog.

Photo © Erik Enderson