for Biological Diversity
More than 10,000 acres of habitat were just protected for one of the Southwest's coolest amphibians, the Chiricahua leopard frog. Known for its snore-like croak and bright green back, spotted with black, the Chiricahua leopard frog declined because of destruction of wetlands, introduction of nonnative bullfrogs and a frog-killing pathogen known as chytrid fungus. Once known to exist at more than 400 sites in Arizona and New Mexico, today it survives in just 80.
But the frog earned an important victory this week when the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service protected 10,346 acres for its "critical habitat," a designation that will vastly improve the frog's odds.
The Center for Biological Diversity has been working to save the Chiricahua leopard frog since 1998 when we first petitioned for its protection under the Endangered Species Act, which it won two Center lawsuits later. We're also part of a group that developed a 2007 plan for the frog's recovery.