Spotted Frog
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Selection Marker ImageSensitive Species Inventory
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Selection Marker ImageSpotted Frogs
Spotted frogsColumbia spotted frog, Rana luteiventris, ranges from southeast Alaska through Alberta, Canada, and into Washington, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, and disjunct areas of Nevada and Utah. In Utah, isolated Columbia spotted frog populations exist in the West Desert and along the Wasatch Front. Habitat loss and degradation have caused declines in many of these populations, especially along the Wasatch Front, leading to the species' inclusion on the Utah Sensitive Species List. The Mitigation Commission is working cooperatively with several government agencies under a Conservation Agreement to eliminate or significantly reduce threats facing the Columbia spotted frog, with a goal of recovering the species.

To aid spotted frog recovery, the Mitigation Commission is acquiring properties in a natural spring area west of Mona in Juab County, Utah. The area supports spotted frog, least chub and California floater (mollusk). Only two locations in Juab County are known to support spotted frog populations. Acquiring and protecting this habitat is a vital component toward assuring conservation of this species along the Wasatch Front, and therefore aids measures identified in the Conservation Agreement to which the Commission is signatory.

Spotted frog recovery will also be aided by a proposed warm-water hatchery in Utah. Production numbers are identified for the proposed Warm-water and native aquatic species culture facility to include spotted frog and boreal toad, as well as, June sucker, least chub, leatherside chub, roundtail chub and flannelmouth sucker.

The Provo River Restoration Project, which is restoring the middle Provo River between Jordanelle Dam and Deer Creek Reservoir to a more natural pattern and ecological function, is also expected to contribute to spotted frog recovery. The project area contains the largest remaining population of Columbia spotted frog within the Wasatch Front. Spotted frogs are significantly benfitting from the project because it is creating and improving wetlands and protecting, enhancing and restoring riverine and riparian habitats.

In 1999, eighteen wetlands were created in the first year of the Provo River Restoration Project. By the following spring, sixty percent of the new wetlands contained breeding frogs. Individual frogs were observed in an even greater proportion of these wetlands. Many adult frogs appeared out of nowhere to colonize the new wetlands and appeared to be actively using them throughout the river restoration’s 2000 construction season. Many more wetlands are being created through subsequent construction seasons with similar success.

A comprehensive spotted frog monitoring plan is being implemented in conjunction with the restoration project. The monitoring plan’s purpose is to provide a protocol for documenting immediate and long-term responses of frogs to restoration. Monitoring involves a full inventory of spotted frog use in the Provo River corridor done annually throughout the restoration project and five years of habitat recovery. All wetlands in the corridor are mapped and standardized surveys are conducted for spotted frog use in each wetland site.

On September 20, 2001 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service published a notice of intent to conduct a status review for the Wasatch Front population of spotted frog. On August 30, 2002 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced (Federal Register Vol. 67, No. 169) after a 12-month review of all the available scientific and commercial information, that listing the Wasatch Front population of the Columbia spotted frog is not warranted.

Email Link to the Utah Reclamation Mitigation Conservation Commission, urmcc@uc.usbr.govAddress for Utah Reclamation Mitigation Conservation Commission, 230 South 500 East, Suite 230, Salt Lake City, Utah 84102-2045, (801)524-3146, Fax (801)524-3148