First placed on the candidate list: 1991
Years waiting for protection: 13
Range: California, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia
Habitat: warm wetlands from sea level to at least 5,500 feet

The four-inch Oregon spotted frog is variously green, brown or magenta colored, with black blotches on its head and back. Protruding eye sockets provide it with an expansive view of potential predators, allowing it to dive into the ever-present water and stay at the bottom for a considerable period. Two years after it was petitioned for, it was added to the candidate list for protection under the Endangered Species Act in 1991. Since then, its habitat has been lost at an accelerating pace. The frog is now absent from up to 90 percent of its former range and is possibly completely extirpated from California.

The Oregon spotted frog originally occupied warm wetlands from southern British Columbia to northern California. Because it is far more aquatic than other native frogs and rarely moves between ponds, the Oregon spotted frog has been especially hard hit by fragmentation of its habitat. The majority of remaining Oregon spotted frog populations are imperiled by development, gravel mining, water diversion, livestock grazing, introduction of non-native plants and animals, and water contamination from pesticides, fertilizers and acid rain.

In British Columbia, it has received an "emergency listing" as an endangered species, the only such listing in Canada’s history.

graphic Andrew Rodman ©2002
May 3, 2004
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