It takes a keen eye and a bit of patience to find the Oregon spotted frogs (Rana pretiosa) in the Vancouver Aquarium’s Frogs Forever? gallery, but it’s worth taking a look. The three males on display were collected as part of a conservation program to help save their species from disappearing from British Columbia.
Due to the destruction of ponds, swamps and ditches (their habitat) and introduced predators, Oregon spotted frogs have vanished from 90 per cent of their range in British Columbia. They’re now found in only three scattered wetlands in the Lower Mainland.
The Aquarium joined the Oregon Spotted Frog Recovery Team in 2000 to help save them in B.C. Since then, we became the first to breed them in an aquarium environment. We’ve also hatched and raised tadpoles, which we released into their natural habitat. For this work, we received the 2011 Peter Karsten Conservation Award from the Canadian Association of Zoos and Aquarium. This award recognizes an individual or institutional achievement in the field of conservation.
In 2011, we released over 2,500 tadpoles that we bred and raised back into their habitat. This year, we hope to release even more.