April 26, 2023
Vancouver, B.C. – The Vancouver Aquarium takes another leap forward in helping to conserve Canada’s most endangered amphibian species, the Oregon spotted frog.
Today (April 25) Vancouver Aquarium biologists are again back in the Lower Mainland wetlands ensuring the safe introduction of an estimated 2000 endangered Oregon spotted frog tadpoles. Since 2010, the Aquarium, in partnership with the Oregon Spotted Frog (OSF) Recovery Team, has spawned and released these endangered animals into the Fraser Valley.
These tadpoles are released into a habitat in Agassiz built by the Ministry of Water, Land and Resource Stewardship. Since 2010, about 25,000 tadpoles have been released. In the last few years, the Greater Vancouver Zoo has been able to breed them as well, helping our collective effort to conserve this important species.
Research to better understand the reproduction of tadpoles has taken place in partnership with numerous organizations including the Greater Vancouver Zoo, Toronto Zoo, SFU and Laurentian University. Since 2020, egg masses have been observed at the site into which our frogs have been previously released, with more being found each year. This means that our frogs are surviving to adulthood and breeding in the wild, which is critical to the end goal of creating self-sustaining habitats.
“We anticipate an above-average year due to an increase in fertilized egg masses,” said Kris Rossing, senior biologist at Vancouver Aquarium. “We know that changes in environment impact Oregon Spotted frogs and their reproductive cycles both in the wild and here at the Aquarium. Every year we learn more about these frogs and their reproductive needs which helps us continually refine propagation practices and maximize the impact of our conservation efforts.”
Early last century, there were hundreds of thousands of Oregon spotted frogs, ranging from northern California up into British Columbia’s Fraser Valley. Due to habitat destruction and the introduction of non-native species, their numbers have dropped as much as 90 per cent from past populations. Oregon spotted frogs are now the most endangered amphibian species in Canada. The Oregon spotted frog is locally extinct (extirpated) in California, endangered in B.C. and Washington and at risk in Oregon.
“We are proud of this critically important work to help protect and rebuild populations of the most endangered species of frog in Canada," concluded Executive Director Clint Wright.
For more information:
Todd Hauptman, Communications Manager
Since opening in 1956, the Vancouver Aquarium has connected more than 40 million people from around the world to our oceans and inspired them to take action to address key threats. Located in Stanley Park, the Vancouver Aquarium is home to hundreds of incredible species. The Vancouver Aquarium is a fully accredited member of Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums (AMMPA), Canada’s Accredited Zoos and Aquariums (CAZA), and Humane Conservation Certified by American Humane.
The Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Rescue Centre is a hospital for sick, injured or orphaned marine mammals. The Rescue Centre rescues stranded marine mammals and rehabilitates them for release back into their natural habitat.