Saving frogs takes teamwork

Blog post by Graduate Assistant Liesl Plomski:

Washington State inmates Harry and Al are not the only people raising endangered Oregon spotted frogs for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). In addition to offenders and staff at the Cedar Creek Corrections Center, there are multiple rearing institutions involved in this five-year WDFW project, including the Greater Vancouver Zoo, Mountain View Conservation and Breeding Centre, Northwest Trek, Oregon Zoo and Woodland Park Zoo.

Comprising what we call the “OSF community,” our frog-farming comrades have missions dedicated to wildlife conservation and talented staff who consult our team on many occasions. We simply couldn’t succeed without their insightful guidance, typically shared on line with Cedar Creek staff member Marko Anderson, who then relays feedback to Harry and Al inside the prison.

An Oregon spotted frog raised by offenders at the Cedar Creek Corrections Center (photo: Melanie Colombo).

An Oregon spotted frog raised by offenders at the Cedar Creek Corrections Center. Photo: Melanie Colombo.

As of August 18, Cedar Creek has 68 fat, healthy frogs destined for wetlands in Fort Lewis next month. Since early April, when WDFW scientist Marc Hayes delivered 80 eggs in tiny yogurt tubs, only 12 frogs have died. A careful balance of food, heat, clean water and loving care has resulted in an excellent 85% rate of survivorship – more than ten times the average outcome in the wild.

For an endangered species teetering on the edge of extinction, that’s good news. Soon, Cedar Creek’s frogs will join those from other rearing institutions in their new home at Fort Lewis. Like everyone involved in this effort, Harry and Al are proud to help amphibian diversity sustain its foothold in the Pacific Northwest.

1 Comment:

  1. Gail James, Olympia WA USA

    Hip hip hooray for this story and project. I commend the vision behind such a worthy effort for both our environment and prisoner rehabilitation. It makes me proud to be human and a resident of WA state.

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