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US Fish & Wildlife Service FieldNotes

Chiricahua Leopard Frogs Back on Leslie Canyon National Wildlife Refuge

Region 2, August 2, 2013
Adult Chiricahua Leopard Frog in Leslie Canyon (2010)
Adult Chiricahua Leopard Frog in Leslie Canyon (2010) - Photo Credit: n/a

In August, Leslie Canyon NWR Staff released approximately 550 Chiricahua leopard frog tadpoles into Leslie Creek. This will mark the first time since the fall of 2010 that the Chiricahua leopard frog will have had a population on the refuge. In late 2009, the water table in the Leslie Canyon Watershed started to drop due to the severe drought affecting the region and Leslie Creek ceased flowing. In 2011, other than a few limited shallow pools, there was no water in the creek and no suitable habitat for the leopard frog. The tadpoles released this year were in different stages of development, with some having developed hind limbs and they came from five different cohorts. The tadpoles were part of a captive breeding effort that is being carried out at the Southwestern Research Station, part of the American Museum of Natural History, in partnership with the refuge. The tadpoles used in the captive breeding effort came from the original Leslie Canyon population in 2010. If water levels can be maintained, another release is planned at the end of the summer.

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