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July 6, 2016 Calgary Zoo

Why is conserving leopard frogs like a game of Jenga?

A northern leopard frog- one of the endangered frog species in Alberta.

Why is conserving leopard frogs like a game of Jenga? Our Conservation Research team has found that a declining leopard frog population is bad news for the entire wetland ecosystem where they live.

If frogs are dying off due to, for example, poor water quality, other animals who prey on them, such as coyotes, foxes and snakes must find their next meal somewhere else…and those species are at-risk.

By taking action to protect leopard frogs we can positively impact their entire ecosystem. Just like a real-life Jenga game: each block (species) you pull out weakens the whole structure (ecosystem) but sooner or later the loss of one key species (leopard frogs) can bring down the entire ecosystem.

What is one way that we took action this year? Picture 6,000 tadpoles on the move!

Transporting the tadpoles of northern leopard frogs.

Transporting the tadpoles of northern leopard frogs.

As part of our participation on the B.C. Leopard Frog Recovery team, these little swimmers were transported from Creston, B.C., to their historic range in the Columbia Marshes of east central B.C.

Incredibly, they had a mortality of less than 1% – which is pretty impressive for one of the Western Canadian species that most need our help. Northern leopard frogs are found across North America, including Alberta, but only one native population remains in BC in the Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area.

We are proud to continue to actively work with this species. Learn more about northern leopard frogs and our the work of our team from the Centre of Conservation Research.  Meet conservationist Lea Randall, our resident frog expert.

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Comments (2)

  1. David Plouffe

    Hi Lea – Calgary’s Pecha Kucha Organization is interested in you speaking at our next Pecha Kucha Night (early Nov). Our theme is Topple. How can we contact you directly to speak about this opportunity.

    • Calgary Zoo

      Hi David,

      Thank you for your interest in northern leopard frogs- and in Lea Randall. Please send her an email at [email protected] to contact her directly. She is currently engaged in field work, so we also recommend sending your request to [email protected]. Please let us know if you have any issues!

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