June 09, 2023
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.
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.
Internationally renowned for its groundbreaking stranded marine mammal medical program, the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Rescue Society (VAMMR) responds to over 300 marine mammal emergencies annually and runs Canada's only dedicated marine mammal hospital facility. Over the 60 years in operation, VAMMR has successfully rescued and rehabilitated over 3000 marine mammals.
The Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau, which was established in 1930, serves as a centralized year-round warehouse for toys and gifts to be gathered, sorted, and shipped to up local Christmas Bureaus and many other community agencies that offer holiday giving programs. By way of this specialized network, the Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau (LMCB) distributes approx. 100,000 toys to Vancouver, Lower Mainland, and Fraser Valley children and has recently added agencies on Vancouver Island and in the interior of BC to its network. In addition to the regional work, the LMCB also serves as the Christmas Bureau for Vancouver residents.