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New Notoriety For Frog Species

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Sacramento, CA — The amphibian was originally made famous by the Mark Twain short story “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County,” featuring the species. In June, Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation elevating the California red-legged frog to the state amphibian.

The frog also played a role in the state’s history during the Gold Rush Era.  The “Forty-Niner Miners” ate about 80,000 frogs per year, nearly eating the species into extinction. It continues to be threatened due to a loss of habitat.

The red-legged frog is only found in California. In May, 1996, the species was listed as a federal threatened species and the state classified it as a species of special concern and in need of protection.

The red-legged frog will join the ranks of the poppy as the official state flower, the California redwood as the official state tree, and the California desert tortoise as the official state reptile.

  • California Red-legged Frog Photo Credit: G. Fellers, U.S. Geological Survey
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