Today, the Oregon spotted frog was listed as a "Threatened Species" under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). It is impossible to overstate the importance of the ESA's mandate requiring the best available science to evaluate threats. This protection will help to insulate the Oregon spotted frog from political whims and provide the protection it needs to survive and recover.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service admitted that livestock grazing in Oregon spotted frog habitat during the summer months can cause drying and trampling of the waters necessary for frog survival.Additionally, the Service indicated that cows have particularly severe impacts during drought years, literally drinking up the pools that provide frogs their only habitat.
Western Watersheds Project and Concerned Friends of the Winema, Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center,Oregon Wild, and the Center for Biological Diversity are particularly happy about this decision because of our recent litigation effortspushing the Fremont-Winema National Forest to address livestock grazing impacts on the Antelope Allotment which contains most of the remaining habitat for the imperiled Jack Creek population of the Oregon spotted frog.
Continued legal pressure and monitoring of cattle trespass in Jack Creek forced the Forest Service to order the cows off the allotment a month early. Now, with this ESA listing decision, the Forest will have to reconsider ever letting them back out.
That's good news for the Oregon spotted frog indeed!
See more pictures of Oregon spotted frog habitat on the Antelope Allotment on our Flickr page.
Thank you, Laurie Rule and Liv Brumfield at Advocates for the West for keeping the legal pressure on and making sure that Oregon spotted frog won't go extinct!