Just a quick update on what is going on with the Oregon spotted frog program this year so far. I am prepping the enclosures to receive eggs from the captive breeding program on Wednesday. We currently have two genetic classes that we are breeding in captivity; a Mariah/Mariah class, and a Mariah/Mountian class (being different populations). This year in the captive program we are going to be assessing the development of the pure vs the crossed strain and making sure that their development is similar and within the same variation as wild tadpoles. This will be a very interesting comparison as we have had genetic work done to suggest that mixing of populations should proceed, and hopefully we will be able to see support for this throughout tadpole development.
We have frogs from the captive program breeding and producing 16+ egg masses in captivity this year which is amazing. We have also had captive frogs in enclosures in the wild that have been breeding and producing a few egg masses as well. When I separated these animals and transported them to the field they were already in amplexus and calling while in buckets in my car…love was in the air!
I have also been treating approx 100 juveniles from 2011 for chytrid. These individuals had chytrid going into the winter however they were on the cusp of morphing (a very stressful time) and we decided the stress of treatment would likely cause more damage than the disease. Because of this we decided to wait and give them a chance to morph and grow strong before treatment. So far the treatment is going well and hopefully it clears the disease as it has in the past.
We are going to be releasing egg masses (from captive breeding) to a historical site this coming week as well as a constructed/reclaimed site, which is very exciting. I am also gearing up for a presentation to 5 classes of 4/5th graders at the end of April for earth week and a presentation to the ecology students at University of the Fraser Valley.
Oregon Spotted Frog Biologist