Re-Introduction of Pacific Tree Frogs to the Florence Fang Asian Community Garden

  • Location
    San Francisco, California
  • Status
  • Age Level
    Any Age

The Problem

Once abundant, Pacific Tree Frogs populations have disappeared from most areas within the City of San Francisco. The aim of this project is to create a habitat for this endemic species (and other rare amphibians), but utilizing an existing area within agricultural land on the Florence Fang Asian Community Garden. Why re-introduce species? In an ideal world there would be no need for re-introductions. There would be many populations and plenty of suitable habitat for animals to colonize naturally. Sadly, this is no longer the case. There are far fewer amphibian and reptile populations than in previous decades. Furthermore, many populations are isolated, meaning that colonizing unoccupied habitat is impossible. Reptiles and amphibians are generally unable to travel long distances, or even short ones if the habitat isn\'t quite right. In addition to improving and recreating habitats, we have to consider alternative means of ensuring that animals can populate unoccupied patches of habitat. \"Reintroduction\" refers to the carefully planned release of animals in order to establish a population. There are two main methods to achieve this: translocation (taking animals from one area in the wild, and releasing them in the reintroduction site), and release of captive-bred animals. This project will utilize “Translocation” methods in the beginning phases, and possibly seek captive bred individuals to introduce genetic variability among individuals to ensure a strong population. This project is unique as it employs a proactive (vs. reactive) approach. While the Pacific Tree Frog is currently listed as a species of \"Least Concern\", the drastically changing state of our environment can severely impact remaining populations. When we look deeper into the issue, we see that frog populations have been declining worldwide at unprecedented rates, and nearly one-third of the world’s amphibian species are threatened with extinction. Up to 200 species have completely disappeared since 1980. The aim to create a safe sanctuary for the once abundant Pacific Tree Frog in San Francisco. Once established, the goal is to restore and increase public appreciation for these uncommon amphibians, as well as other species of local wildlife. In doing so, the hope is to reawaken our connection to the larger ecosystem.

Our Plan

The goals are to create a clean, protected and healthy local ecosystem for the amphibians to flourish. This includes: 1) Restoring a large pond in the middle of the community garden 2) Restoring the areas around the pond with the addition of frog-friendly landscaping/beautification of the garden 3) Translocation of 50 tadpoles- ten each from five local temporary or permanent ponds in different areas of the Bay Area (genetic variability) 4) Daily monitoring of tadpoles in various stages of development, tracking of young adults into breeding age 5) Connecting with other Amphibian programs to share data and research methodologies 6) Connecting to local school programs to introduce students to conservation biology and pond ecosystems 7) Ongoing data as population becomes stable 8) Collecting tadpoles for captive breeding program for the re-introduction into other ponds and areas deemed safe for amphibians 9) Long-term management of populations

Themes Addressed

  • term icon
    Biodiversity Loss
  • term icon
    Community Enhancement
  • term icon

The Benefit

  • term icon
  • term icon
  • term icon
About Roots & Shoots

We are nurturing the compassionate leaders of tomorrow.

Get To Know Our Model

New Report