Every year it seems that the end of the summer comes by so quickly, and before we know it, it’s time to release our conservation bred Oregon spotted frogs, Canada’s most endangered amphibian.  We spent the summer rearing and headstarting the froglets in artifical ponds at the Greater Vancouver Zoo. This year we had lots of great volunteers we were able to train in the processes of collecting, weighing, measuring and marking the frogs.

Teams of volunteers set up in a working chain, measuring, weighing and marking juvenile Oregon spotted frogs.

 

Oregon spotted frog being weighed and measured

Each frog gets a weigh measurement, a length and a shank (leg) measurement. Frogs between 3g and 7g in weight get a coloured elastomer marking. This marking is a liquid rubberized material that is injected between the layers of skin in the webbing of the foot. We are able to use different colours of elastomer as well as the placement of the mark on either the right or left back foot, to distinguish between frogs when they are captured at a later date during monitoring efforts. This year our mark was Right Foot Green!

Volunteers begin work collecting frogs form the rearing tubs, which is soggy and cold work. There are always more frogs than there appear to be at first sight and we can’t declare a tank empty until the water is completely removed, it is amazing how well they can hide! We were fortunate to have some of the next generation of frog biologists help us this year, the kids of some of our original frog crew members and our youngest biologists! Selucia is 4 years old and helped us scrub and clean tubs. Ryan was able to take the day off from Grade 4 and helped us catch frogs and pass them to his mom for marking. Thanks for the great work kids!

Selucia and her frog biologist mom Monica in their natural environment, getting involved and dirty for the frogs.

 

Getting our buckets in-line, acclimatizing buckets of frogs to the warm pond water!