Frog of the Week

Sierra Nevada Yellow-legged Frog (Rana sierrae)

photo by William Flaxington

Conservation status is Endangered

Common Name: Sierra Nevada Yellow-legged Frog
Scientific Name: Rana sierrae
Family: Ranidae – True Frog Family
Locations: United States – California and Nevada (probably extinct there)
Size: 2 – 3 inches (5 – 7.6 cm)

The Sierra Nevada Yellow-legged Frog is a federally listed endangered species by the United States. One study found that 92% of the population have become extinct. There are two primary causes for the decline: Chytrid Fungus and introduced non-native species.  Chytrid Fungus is a deadly pathogen that has affected frogs around the world. It causes the skin of the frog to harden preventing air flow in the frog. Introduced trouts have preyed on the tadpoles of the frogs, causing declines. Experiments of complete removal of the trouts in lakes have shown to increase the Sierra Nevada Yellow-legged Frogs. Other smaller threats to the frog are climate change, pollution, and habitat destruction due to cattle grazing.


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