The Oregon spotted frog will now receive protection under the Endangered Species Act. The small frog was once abundant in the Northwest. It’s now mostly found in a few scattered wetlands.
Oregon spotted frog calls – like these calls recorded near Puget Sound – could once be heard from Northern California to British Columbia.
Over the years, the frog has lost up to 90 percent of its habitat.
Now, the palm-sized frog will be listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.
Noah Greenwald is with the Center for Biological Diversity. He said the Oregon spotted frog faces a lot of threats.
“Livestock grazing, introduced trout, introduced bull frogs,” Greenwald said. “It definitely needs our help if it’s going to survive.”
Greenwald said saving wetlands where the frogs live will also help other species, like songbirds and beavers.
County commissioners in Klamath, Oregon, worry the decision will limit access to grazing lands and timber and hurt the local ranching and logging industries.
The endangered species status for the Oregon spotted frog will take effect at the end of September.
Copyright 2014 Northwest Public Radio