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Release of Chiricahua Leopard Frogs on Tonto National Forest, Arizona, Benefits Recovery Goals
Southwest Region, September 7, 2006
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The AESO, in partnership with the Arizona Game and Fish Department, U.S. Forest Service - Tonto National Forest, and the Phoenix Zoo, assisted with important recovery actions for the Gentry Creek Conservation and Management Zone for the Chiricahua leopard frog along the Mogollon Rim in Arizona during the summer of 2006.

On April 10, 2006, one and a half Chiricahua leopard frog egg masses were collected from Carroll Spring, a location that is part of the Gentry Creek metapopulation of Chiricahua leopard frogs.  These egg masses were deposited at the Phoenix Zoo’s Montane Anuran Conservation Center for rearing into late-stage tadpoles and metamorphs.

On August 21st and September 7th, 2006, a total of 1,161 Chiricahua leopard frog metamorphs and tadpoles were released to five sites on the Tonto National Forest, Pleasant Valley Ranger District and within the Gentry Creek Management Area of Chiricahua leopard frog Recovery Unit 5. The releases served to augment three small extant populations of Chiricahua leopard frogs (Bottle Spring, Carroll Spring, Crouch Creek) and reestablish 2 former populations (Ramer Tank, Pine Spring) that were historical sites for this metapopulation.  Prior to the release of Chiricahua leopard frogs, habitat improvement work and fence repairs were performed at the Crouch Creek, Ramer Tank, and Pine Spring sites which served to better control potential impacts from ungulate grazing and improve sediment runoff and erosion trends in these areas. 

In total, the release of these Chiricahua leopard frogs resulted in a 50% increase in extant Chiricahua leopard frog localities within the Gentry Creek Conservation and Management Zone and approximately a 100-fold increase in numbers of individual frogs. 

Contact Info: Martin Valdez, 505-248-6599, martin_valdez@fws.gov



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