Sierra Nevada

Yosemite to Restore Endangered Yellow-Legged Frogs to Alpine Lakes

Yosemite National Park is making efforts to restore the endangered yellow-legged frog to Alpine Lakes with a little bit of high-tech.

Although it was once the most common frog in Sierra Nevada, predators and diseases killed about 95 percent of the population, the park service said on Thursday.

First, the scientists will find the lakes with no frogs, then will reintroduce about 20 of them. The frogs will be tracked after scientists attach micro-chips to them, before they swim – or hop - into the new lakes, according to park service spokesman Scott Gediman.

Scientists have already introduced the frogs to two different lakes, and hope to introduce them to five more. They hope eventually the frogs can recolonize themselves.

Park biologist Rob Grasso explains that at one point, the frog population was so abundant that it was hard to walk around the lake without stepping on them.

“Today we know these frogs are a key part of healthy mountain lake ecosystems and we are confident that we can restore these frogs in Yosemite,” Grasso said.

Park experts are hopeful that the frog population within Yosemite could become self-sustaining within ten years.

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