by Ian James, The Desert Sun
IDYLLWILD — Dozens of frogs hopped from plastic containers into a mountain creek on Wednesday as researchers began a reintroduction effort that they hope can save the most endangered amphibian in California.
Mountain yellow-legged frogs were once plentiful in streams across the mountains of Southern California, but they vanished from most areas during the past few decades in a rapid decline that scientists attribute to loss of habitat, disease and other factors.
Researchers are now for the first time trying to help the species survive by releasing captive-bred juvenile frogs. After being raised in a laboratory, 65 young frogs were set free in the shallow ponds of Indian Creek, a stream lined with ferns, pines and incense cedars June 12 at the University of California’s James San Jacinto Mountains Reserve near Idyllwild.
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