Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks officials want to remove non-native trout from some lakes that naturally were fishless in a bid to save a yellow-legged frog. Now a group says trout should be removed from all lakes in the two parks that originally were fishless.
Save the Frogs, a non-profit group, says the two parks are one of the last remaining strongholds of the mountain yellow-legged frogs. These frogs were once the most abundant frogs in California, but have since disappeared from over 90 percent of their former habitat, in large part due to the introduction of non-native trout, which are voracious predators of tadpoles.
Frog populations in California and worldwide have been declining at unprecedented rates, and nearly one-third of the world's 6,586 amphibian species are threatened with extinction, according to the group. Amphibians are faced with an onslaught of environmental problems, including climate change, pollution, infectious diseases, habitat loss, invasive species, and over-harvesting for the pet and food trades, it adds. California’s frog populations have been particularly hard hit by pesticides, introduced trout, invasive bullfrogs, and a deadly chytrid fungus that is being transported around the world by human activities.
Save The Frogs is calling on all citizens to send letters to the National Park Service urging them to remove the trout from the two parks.
“The Park Service is currently accepting public comments on whether to remove the trout, so this is an excellent opportunity for average citizens to step up and help protect a critically endangered species,” says Dr. Kerry Kriger, executive director of Save The Frogs.
The group has created a webpage (www.savethefrogs.com/trout) where viewers can quickly send their comments to the parks' superintendent. The deadline for comments is this Saturday, November 21.
“The amphibian extinction crisis is one of the most significant environmental issues of our time, and it is important for people to understand the causes and extent of the problem, as well as the urgency with which action must be taken if we are to protect remaining amphibian populations,” says Dr. Kriger.