So if you want to know more visit Chiricahua Leopard Frog Recovery
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Ramsey Canyon Leopard Frog "National Fish & Wildlife Foundation" article, result of a Tom Beatty Jr interview
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The best site for instant ID of all Arizona reptiles is http://www.reptilesofaz.org/
The following frog info was taken from AZ Game & Fish E-mail to the Beattys.
On August 14, 1999, between 10:00 -12:00 am, the Department will be
coordinating a release of Ramsey Canyon leopard frogs on the east side of
the Huachuca Mountains near Sierra Vista. Recent surveys demonstrate that
there are less than 12 frogs living in Ramsey Canyon, down from approximately
65 last summer. The RCLF are amongst the rarest frogs in the world.
The frogs and tadpoles that are being released this weekend, were collected
from a "backyard" pond owned by the Bernsteins in Sierra Vista. With the
permission of the home owner, portions of or entire egg masses were removed
and transported to The Phoenix Zoo for captive rearing. The zoo hatched eggs
and is currently holding the tadpoles and frogs temporarily in their Montane
Anuran Conservation Center. Once the tadpoles metamorphose into frogs, they
are returned to the wild. These frogs are being released in hopes to
supplement a declining population and reestablish a vanished population.
This is the first release of several to occur this summer and fall.
We will be releasing tadpoles and frogs at The Ramsey Canyon Nature Preserve
(a TNC property) and at Tom & Edith Beatty's property in Miller Canyon. Both
locations are very scenic.
The release effort will be supported by numerous friendly people from the
Arizona Game and Fish Department, volunteers and staff from The Phoenix Zoo
and The Nature Conservancy. As part of the release effort we will be
cleaning a pond at TNC, before the animals are released.
On September 25, Mike Sredl, Holly Richter (TNC), Tom Deecken (USFS), Tara
Sprankle (The Phoenix Zoo), and volunteers from The Phoenix Zoo and The
Nature Conservancy released Ramsey Canyon leopard frogs (69 juvenile and 10
late-stage tadpoles) in the Orchard Pond in Ramsey Canyon. The eggs that
produced these frogs were laid in a backyard koi pond and reared at The
Phoenix Zoo by the Tadpole Task Force. Gary Shaffer and Frosty Taylor
(Information and Education Branch) were on hand to record this event for the
Wildlife Views television show.
On September 23 and 24, Mike Demlong and Mike Sredl surveyed localities on
the east slope of the Huachuca Mountains for Ramsey Canyon leopard frogs;
abbreviated accounts follow.
September 23, Ramsey Canyon, from Hamburg Trail crossing to Trout Pond and
Orchard Pond, start 8:00 pm, end 10:15 pm (Ta=21.0 C, Tw=13.0 C). No frogs
seen at any sites. Forty-five tadpoles seen in Orchard Pond, none elsewhere.
September 24, Beatty's Bed and Breakfast, Miller Canyon, start 8:30 am, end
10:00 am. Frog Pond: 12 juveniles, no tadpoles. Cabin Pond: 4 juvenile, no
tadpoles. Creek in Miller Canyon: 1 juvenile, no tadpoles (note: juveniles
and tadpoles only released at the Frog Pond).
September 24, Brown Canyon, start 10:30 am, end 1:30 pm. Checked House Pond
and the Wild Duck Pond. Wild Duck Pond habitat in very good shape.
Michael J. Sredl
Arizona Game and Fish Department
2221 W. Greenway Road
Phoenix, Arizona 85023-4399
Voice: (602) 789-3515
Fax: (602) 789-3926
On April 5, 2000 Mike Sredl met with attendees of a Federal Aid coordination
meeting to tour the Ramsey Canyon leopard frog project, funded
by Partnerships for Wildlife, Partners for Wildlife, and Section 6 money.
The tour stopped by the Beatty's property in Miller Canyon and Ramsey
Canyon. Attendees asked many interesting questions and seemed generally
impressed with the Ramsey Canyon Leopard Frog Conservation Team's and
Department's efforts at conserving this native frog.
On April 4-6, Mike Sredl and Kim Field visited Ramsey Canyon leopard
frog sites on the eastside of the Huachucas. Sites visited included:Brown,
Ramsey, Miller, and Garden canyons and Tinker Pond. In Brown Canyon, they
found only one large male in "The Box" and no frogs or tadpoles in two ponds
on the Barchas Ranch. In Ramsey Canyon, they found 24 tadpoles in the
Orchard Pond,but no frogs and no frogs or tadpoles elsewhere, including the
Upper Trout Pond. Kim surveyed the Beatty's property in Miller Canyon and
found 18 frogs. She also surveyed lower Garden Canyon Pond, which was almost
dry, and found no frogs. During surveys of Tinker Pond, she found one female
Ramsey Canyon leopard frog.
On April 6 Mike Sredl and Kim Field visited two ponds on private
property to assess their potential release sites. Two other private ponds
that currently have Ramsey Canyon leopard frogs were also visited. Five
frogs were counted at one pond, one of which was collected to be tested for
chytrid fungus infection, while numerous frogs, tadpoles, and several egg
masses were observed at the second pond.
Following is a 6 July 2003, AZGF E-mail: That states that the Ramsey Canyon leopard frogs are not different from
Chiricahua leopard frogs that are found in the southeastern part of the state
Ramsey Canyon Leopard Frog Conservation Team members and interested parties:
I'd like to give you a brief update on some of our findings so far this season. We will discuss these topics in greater detail
at future RCLFCT meetings and through e-mail as we decide upon our best conservation tactics.
1. Chytrid fungus. This season we confirmed the presence of chytrid fungus in a specimen from Barchas Ranch. Recall that
we suspected that chytrid may have been playing a role in the disappearance of frogs that we had attempted to re-establish
at the ranch, but had not been able to collect a specimen to test. The tadpole that we collected in April 2003 was positive
for chytrid. Chytrid has been confirmed at Tinker Pond, Barchas Ranch, Ramsey Canyon, and the Carr Barn Pond.
2. Genetics. One of the RCLFCT's top research priorities is to resolve the disputes over whether the frogs at Tinker Pond are
really Ramsey Canyon leopard frogs and whether Ramsey Canyon leopard frogs are different from Chiricahua leopard frogs.
The Arizona Game and Fish Department received a grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to research these questions.
This spring and summer we cooperated with Caren Goldberg, research specialist from the University of Arizona, to run the
genetic analyses. We compared the control region of the mitochondrial DNA from frogs sampled at sites in the Huachuca
Mountains (including Tinker Pond) and Chiricahua leopard frogs from both southeastern AZ and the Mollogon Rim. Our data
show that the frogs in Tinker Pond are no different from frogs at other localities in the Huachuca Mountains. We also found
that Ramsey Canyon leopard frogs are not different from Chiricahua leopard frogs that are found in the southeastern part of
the state. A report of our findings is currently being reviewed internally. After I make the final edits, you will receive a copy of
this report. We are also preparing a manuscript of our findings to submit to a peer-reviewed scientific journal. Although we are
suggesting that populations of frogs in the Huachuca Mountains are actually Chiricahua leopard frogs, an official change in
species designation (if supported by the scientific community) will likely take a few years. The review process that our
manuscript will go through is quite thorough and lengthy, so immediate changes in policy (recall that Chiricahua leopard
frogs were federally listed as threatened last summer) or management tactics are not likely. The Fish and Wildlife Service
will not consider the frogs on the east slope of the Huachuca Mountains to be Chiricahua leopard frogs unless this is clearly
stated in a peer-reviewed article published in a reputable scientific journal. We will have time to talk about and plan for changes.
Whatever we end up calling the leopard frogs in the Huachuca Mountains, our conservation and research projects have been
and will continue to be very important.
3. Conservation Agreement. The Conservation Assessment and Strategy, as well as the actual Agreement, will be circulated for
another round of review shortly. Hopefully, you will find that your previous comments were sufficiently incorporated or addressed.
4. Lisa Naas. Most of you may know that Lisa Naas left her position at Ramsey Canyon Preserve to move to North Cascades
National Park. She contributed a lot to our efforts through her coordination of surveys on the Preserve, comments on drafts
of the Conservation Assessment and Strategy, and suggestions on research and management.
If you have questions or concerns about the topics above, don't hesitate to contact me.
Thanks for your interest and involvement in the RCLFCT,
Kimberleigh J. Field
Amphibians and Reptiles Biologist
Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Program
Arizona Game and Fish Department
2221 W. Greenway Rd.
Phoenix, AZ 85023