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Leslie CanyonNWR Chiricahua Leopard Frog Survey Records Frogs for the First Time Since 2010
Southwest Region, September 26, 2013
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Chiricahua leopard frog seen on survey.
Chiricahua leopard frog seen on survey. - Photo Credit: C.D. Lohrengel
Leslie Creek May 2010.
Leslie Creek May 2010. - Photo Credit: C.D. Lohrengel
Leslie Creek August 2013
Leslie Creek August 2013 - Photo Credit: C.D. Lohrengel

Outside of flood events, 2013 was the first year that there had been flowing water in Leslie Creek on the Leslie Canyon NWR since 2009, and because of this, the refuge was able to reintroduce the Chiricahua leopard frog back onto the refuge. The last frog observed on the refuge during any period was in September of 2010. Thanks to some foresight, the refuge partnered with the Southwestern Research Station in Portal, Arizona, which is part of the American Natural History Museum, to captive breed Chiricahua leopard frogs for reintroduction into historic native territories in the Chiricahua Mountains and nearby locations.  In 2012, frogs were released around the Research Station and established the first natural breeding population in the Chiricahua Mountains in decades. Durring 2013, enough tadpoles were produced in the captive population to provide for reintroduction into Leslie Creek, which tanks to a strong monsoon season had continual flowing water in the creek and abundant habitat for the frogs. Because of this release, frogs were encountered during the September survey for leopard frogs on the refuge. The survey is conducted over two days. On the first day, fifteen individuals were counted and on the second day, twenty-three frogs were observed. Some of the frogs found during the survey were in areas upstream from where the tadpoles were released. If water levels can be maintained, additional releases are planned.


Contact Info: Christopher Lohrengel, 520-364-2104 x.106, chris_lohrengel@fws.gov



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