VANCOUVER, April 25 (Xinhua) -- Thousands of tadpoles of endangered Oregon spotted frogs were released into the wild Friday at a site on crown land near Agassiz, British Columbia (BC) of west Canada to supplement existing populations of the rare frog species.
Dennis Thoney, Vancouver Aquarium's director of animal operations, hailed Friday's releasing event as a milestone in the efforts to conserve the rare frog species. The Aquarium is in partnership with the Oregon Spotted Frog Recovery Team of BC that has successfully bred the rare frog species believed to be in peril in B.C. and along the western coast of North America.
Since 2009, Aquarium staff has been collecting Oregon spotted frog eggs to establish an aquarium-based assurance population. Between 2011 and 2013, more than 10,000 tadpoles and juvenile frogs produced by the aquarium were released into suitable habitats to increase small existing populations in the wild.
Due to the loss of habitat resulting from the draining of wetlands and the conversion of agricultural land to housing and urban development, Oregon spotted frogs have vanished from 90 percent of their range in British Columbia.
"As amphibians continue to face the largest mass extinction since the dinosaurs, propagation programs such as this one for the Oregon spotted frog are critical in the conservation of this and other endangered and threatened species,"said Thoney. "As indicators of environmental health, amphibians play an important role in the local ecology."
He also pointed out that removing a species from its ecosystem creates an imbalance that may negatively impact other species, which is why they were committed to protect this and other amphibian species that are in danger of disappearing.