The Frog Rescue

Rare yellow-legged frogs are returned to drought-hammered San Gabriel Mountains

In a rare attempt to boost a rare breed of frogs, three conservation groups have enlisted the help of volunteers to keep yellow-legged frogs in southern San Gabriel Mountain groves from dying from drought.

On a hot June day in 2006, I arrived at the site of this improbable rescue with the help of conservationist Bill Tait, who had come to visit from an organization called Project Frog, where he was the director of conservation and research.

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I looked out over the valley of the San Gabriel River and the San Gabriel Mountains as we got out of my truck. Atop our ridge, the sun was directly behind me, casting blinding highlights on the grassy valley floor below. It was a scene that could have been a painting, which I was more than happy to be a part of.

On a hot June day in 2006, I arrived at the site of this improbable rescue with the help of conservationist Bill Tait, who had come to visit from an organization called Project Frog, where he was the director of conservation and research.

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We walked to a clearing in the brush, where we saw a cluster of yellow-legged frogs and an older male that was already calling. I looked around the edge of the trees to gauge how many were in the immediate vicinity and saw about 15 or so.

In a rare attempt to boost a rare breed of frogs, three conservation groups have enlisted the help of volunteers to keep yellow-legged frogs (Pelophryne lunulata) in southern San Gabriel Mountain groves from dying from drought. I looked around the edge of the trees to gauge how many were in the immediate vicinity and saw about 15 or so.

“Where are the rest?” I asked Tait.

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In a rare attempt to boost a rare breed of frogs, three conservation groups have enlisted the help of volunteers to keep yellow-legged frogs (

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