Did you know that the Oregon spotted frog is the most endangered amphibian in Canada? It’s true, and to save this endangered frog we need your help to make a perfect place for them to call home. The Vancouver Aquarium and Earth Rangers are teaming up with kids across Canada to build the ideal habitat for the Oregon spotted frog!
Home Sweet Home
Your dream home may have a trampoline or rocket ship in the living room, but for the Oregon spotted frog, these toys and gadgets just won’t do. Instead, the Oregon spotted frog has this list of ‘must haves’ for its new home:
- A place that used to be a wetland so that it is hydrologically suitable, which means that there are natural water sources in the area that make it easier to turn it back into a wetland
- The restored habitat needs to be within the species’ natural range
- As free as possible from the American bullfrog, which is an invasive species in British Columbia
- On public land so that kids of all ages can visit the location to learn about Canadian wetlands and native frogs!
No American Bullfrogs Allowed
The Vancouver Aquarium took this list and set out to find a location to build the perfect habitat for the Oregon spotted frog. Unfortunately, they ran into some trouble. American bullfrogs are all over the Fraser Valley and it’s next to impossible to find a spot without them.
To solve this problem the Vancouver Aquarium is going to create a habitat that American bullfrogs won’t like but is perfect for Oregon spotted frogs. American bullfrogs like deep and open water while Oregon spotted frogs prefer a type of wetland called a shallow marsh. This type of habitat has water that’s not too deep and has lots of plants that live both above and below the waterline. There are hardly any shallow marshes left in British Columbia’s Lower Mainland because they were drained in the early 1900s for agriculture. However, with the help of Vancouver Aquarium’s wetland experts and support from Earth Rangers like you we’re going to create a shallow marsh that’s perfect for Oregon spotted frogs!
Building a Shallow Marsh for Oregon Spotted Frogs
The Vancouver Aquarium scouted out a great location for a shallow marsh wetland at a regional park in Metro Vancouver called Aldergrove Lake Regional Park. They set out with some backhoes to investigate soil type in the area and groundwater depth. The Vancouver Aquarium will monitor this location through the winter of 2012 and into the summer of 2013, after which habitat restoration will begin! First the area’s draining tiles and ditches will be plugged to restore the flow of water. The restoration team will also check to ensure there is a reliable water source from season to season. Next, the scientists at the Vancouver Aquarium will add lots of native marsh plants to help keep invasive plants, like reed canary grass, out of the area. Once the shallow marsh is established, Oregon spotted frogs born at the Vancouver Aquarium will be released into their new home that was specially created just for them!