The northern leopard frog in Canada has suffered declines in its populations since the 1970s and 1980s due to such factors as pesticide use and the draining of their wetlands homes for development.
The northern leopard frog (Rana pipiens) is an endangered species in British Columbia, and thanks to the efforts of the Wilder Institute and Calgary Zoo, 1,929 northern leopard frog tadpoles have been released into the wild near Kimberley on land owned and managed by The Nature Conservancy of Canada and private landowners.
The institute and zoo worked with the British Columbia Northern Leopard Frog Recovery Team to captive breed the tadpoles and released them into their natural environments. The conservation effort involved a variety of measures to ensure success, including wild-to-wild translocations, head-starting, (where the tadpoles were held back and cared for three weeks before release to ensure a better chance of survival) and wild to to wild, whereby the tadpoles were immediately released as soon as they hatched. These tadpoles were released into four separate areas within the area based on water depth, vegetation cover and the lives of dissolved oxygen in the waters.
The conservation breeding to wild program is carefully managed by experts who ensure genetic diversity within the individuals released into the wild. The frogs are bred in controlled environments that mimic their natural breeding conditions as much as possible.
The tadpoles will be monitored through September 2022 every week to see how they are adapting to their environment. Metamorphosis will occur during this time and the researchers will return in the spring to see how the frogs overwintered and if they are breeding.
Northern Leopard Frog Information
The northern leopard frog in Canada has suffered declines in its populations since the 1970s and 1980s due to such factors as pesticide use and the draining of their wetlands homes for development. The frog and its subspecies are found throughout much of the northern United States and into Canada. Its coloration varies from green to brown with spots that also vary widely. Leopard frog species are often kept as pets and were so popular at a time that you could mail away for the eggs and hatch them out yourself.