Thanks to Conservancy donors’ support, Yosemite is at the forefront of efforts to protect three at-risk amphibian species: the Yosemite toad, Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frog and California red-legged frog.

This year, scientists will apply cutting-edge techniques, including statistical modeling, environmental DNA assessments, audio analysis and radio telemetry, to learn more about those vulnerable aquatic animals and hone future conservation work. They will also release adult red-legged frogs that have been reared at a special San Francisco Zoo facility into carefully selected riparian sites in Yosemite Valley.

By looking at particularly resilient toad populations, and at recently released or relocated frog populations, scientists will expand understanding of factors that contribute to each species’ survival, gaining valuable insights to increase the pace, scale and success rate of amphibian restorations in Yosemite and beyond.

Your gift will help ensure Yosemite’s native amphibians can thrive in Sierra Nevada lakes, rivers and wetlands.

Partnering with Yosemite National Park; University of California, Berkeley; University of California, Santa Barbara; and University of Colorado, Boulder

Rob Grasso

Aquatic Ecologist, Yosemite National Park

Project Notes

Environmental DNA (eDNA) is a promising new tool that has the potential to reliably detect trout in lakes, providing a simple means to monitor the success of restoration efforts. New eDNA techniques work to isolate DNA for a target animal from water samples from the lake environment, providing a minimally invasive survey tool with significant decreased personnel costs, when compared with traditional surveys.