Yellow-legged frogs earn spot on endangered list

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – They aren’t as famous as the threatened red-legged frogs of Calaveras jumping fame, but two types of yellow-legged frogs are getting new special protections.

The California Fish and Game Commission voted Thursday to list the Sierra mountain yellow-legged frogs as threatened and the Southern mountain yellow-legged frogs as endangered. The commission acted after the Center for Biological Diversity filed a petition outlining the decline.

Both species live in alpine lakes and are a food source for non-native trout.

Studies have shown that livestock grazing and pesticide drift from farms in the Central Valley contribute to the decline. Their numbers have shrunk by half since 1995.

The state already had taken steps to protect the frogs by ending some fish-stocking programs and moving some to former habitats.

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