Vancouver Aquarium Releases Endangered Northern Leopard Frog for Tenth Year


June 09, 2023


Press Releases

Vancouver, B.C. – The Vancouver Aquarium was pleased yesterday to release over 100 endangered Northern leopard frog tadpoles into a natural habitat in the Kootenays. This is the tenth year that the Aquarium, in partnership with the Northern Leopard Frog Recovery Team, has been able to release these endangered animals. Since 2013, more than 15,000 tadpoles have been released into the wild.

This work is critical to help protect the Northern Leopard frog species and demonstrates the importance of each species in our ecosystem in British Columbia.

“We are excited to release these tadpoles again in our effort to help this endangered species,” said Kris Rossing, senior biologist at Vancouver Aquarium. “We know that changes in environment impact Northern leopard frogs and their reproductive cycles both in the wild and here at the Aquarium. Every year we learn more and more about these frogs and their reproductive needs which helps us continually refine of propagation practices and maximize the impact of our conservation efforts.”

The tadpoles were diligently transported to the Kootenays, first by car to YVR then by plane to Cranbrook, B.C. Received by members of the Recovery Team, the tadpoles were then brought to their new home in the marshy wetlands that lie near Kimberley, BC.

The Vancouver Aquarium was the first aquarium to breed the amphibians as part of an assurance population and is part of a worldwide effort, along with other zoos and aquariums, to conserve this and other amphibian species under the Amphibian Ark (AArk) project.

Beginning in the 1970s, populations of Northern leopard frogs across western Canada declined by the millions, making them one of the most at-risk amphibian species, especially in B.C. Research continues into the cause of these sharp declines in the Rocky Mountain population of the Northern leopard frogs. The Rocky Mountain population that occurs in B.C. is listed as Endangered by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC), and is on the provincial Red List.

Once found at many sites in the Kootenay and Okanagan regions, the Rocky Mountain population began to decrease to a point where only one wild population, in Creston Valley, existed. In 2004, a second population was reintroduced in the Upper Kootenay Floodplain, near Bummers Flats, as part of the recovery effort for this species. A third site was started in 2013 in the Columbia Marshes, and in 2023 another habitat was selected near Cherry Meadows.

Photos attached

For more information:

Todd Hauptman, Communications Manager


About Vancouver Aquarium

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.

About Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Rescue Centre

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.


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