Critical habitat designation decision by FWS to protect two types of yellow-legged frogsand Yosemite toad

The US Fish and Wildlife Service has announced around 3,000 square miles area in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains as critical habitat for two types of yellow-legged frogs and a type of a toad found in Yosemite National Park.

The extra protection means that the ban on human activities that can harm these endangered animals. In the past few decades, it has been noticed that the Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frog and the mountain yellow-legged frog and the Yosemite toad have to live in an environment full of threat.

Among the threats being faced by them include the Sierra lakes full of voracious trout and other non-native fish; spread of new diseases due to climate change and pesticides coming from California’s Central Valley farms.

As per Jeff Miller, a conservation advocate for the Center for Biological Diversity environmental group was of the view that these factors have significantly affected the population of the yellow-legged frogs. There was a time when this species was quite common, but now it has majorly disappeared.

Lately, the frogs have been one again reintroduced to one Sierra waterway after removing non-native fish that prey on the amphibians. Climate change and pesticides have also cut down a major population of the Yosemite toad.

Jennifer Norris, Sacramento-based field supervisor for the Fish and Wildlife Service, mentioned about the designation, “It’s a pretty big designation. We have identified the highest-benefit land to get these species off the (Endangered Species Act) list”.

The Interior Department agency will finalize the designation with the publication in the Federal Register on Friday. Costs associated with the critical habitat designation are put up at $630,000 to $1.5 million over the time-period of 17 years.