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Tarahumara frogs imported from Sonora, Mexico for reestablishment in Arizona
Southwest Region, October 19, 2008
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Staff from Arizona Ecological Services, Arizona Game and Fish Department (AGFD), Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum (ASDM), the Reserva Ajos-Bavispe, and Steve Hale (Tucson) travelled to Arroyo El Trigo in the Sierra Madre Occidental of east-central Sonora to collect Tarahumara frog tadpoles and export them to the United States.  The purpose of the collection was to augment Tarahumara frog stock in Arizona, all of which originated from a single egg mass collected in Sonora in 2000.  The new stock would not only increase genetic diversity, but the source population has coexisted with chytridiomycosis for at least 2 decades.  Tarahumara frogs in Arizona, including the stock collected in 2000, are very susceptible to this fungal disease, and most frogs at our release site in the Santa Rita Mountains, Arizona, died during a disease outbreak early in 2007.  Fifty tadpoles were collected from Arroyo El Trigo during the 16-19 October trip and were successfully transported to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, where all are now installed at a rearing facility.  These tadpoles will be reared to frogs, which will then become part of a breeding stock, the progeny of which will be used for reintroductions in Arizona.  If enough of the 50 tadpoles survive to metamorphosis, releases from the original collection to sites in Arizona may occur as well.  Collections and export of Tarahumara frogs were conducted under Mexican collection and export permits obtained through a Mexican collaborator at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma Mexico at Iztacala, Mexico.  The project has been endorsed by the Shared Species Working Table of the Trilateral Committee for Wildlife and Ecosystem Conservation and Management.

Contact Info: Nick Carrillo, (602) 242-0210x203, nick_carrillo@fws.gov



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