Wilderness Sierra Nevada Yellow-legged Frog Reintroduction and Trout Eradication Project
In Yosemite, there are as few as six populations of Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frogs with 50 or more individuals, 24 populations with 10 to 49 individuals, and 164 populations with one to nine individuals. The decline of the Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frog is being driven primarily by the introduction of non-native fish and the emerging infectious disease, chytridiomycosis. This project is needed to increase the amount of high quality aquatic habitat for the Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frog and to improve the success rate of Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frog reintroductions.
Under this project staff will:
1) Eradicate fish from 10 to 18 lakes, ponds, and marshes using gill nets, electrofishers, and fish traps.
2) Transport equipment and gear to restoration sites using pack stock.
3) Temporarily install bear boxes at restoration sites at the beginning of each season, packing them out at the end of the season.
4) Conduct experimental translocations including augmenting two existing translocation sites and conducting one new translocation.
5) Transport translocated frogs by helicopter.
6) Treat frogs prior to translocation with antifungal drug Itraconazole followed by experimental bioaugmentation with naturally occurring bacteria, Janthinobacterium lividum.
7) Continue long-term monitoring at approximately 130 sites annually and approximately 450 sites during summer 2012. Park staff will tag and swab individuals at 13 long-term mark-recapture sites, and temporarily installing one digital recording device at each of two sites.
8) Salvage egg masses and tadpoles from populations threatened by drought.
This project would occur over the next five years, ending in December 2016.