If you’re anything like us at Pacific Parklands Foundation you are deeply fascinated with the wildlife of Metro Vancouver’s regional parks. There’s nothing better than watching a squirrel feasting on seeds or listening to a chorus of songbirds high in the tree tops. What about spotting a coyote from afar or watching a pileated woodpecker feed its young? The charismatic critters of regional parks are constantly captivating our attention.
Who’s piqued our interest lately?
Frogs! Did you know that there are over 4,700 known species of frogs around the world? Although they might not make as big of an impression as bald eagles and bears, the mighty amphibians are just as noteworthy. In addition to having an unparalleled jump, frogs provide several ecosystem services including regulating insect pests and acting as prey for fish, reptiles, birds and mammals. Additionally, they play an important role in transferring nutrients and energy between ecosystems due to their regular movement from aquatic to terrestrial environments.
DID YOU KNOW? Many species of frogs can jump a distance of 20 times their body length!? This is akin to an average sized human jumping over 30 meters! The longest frog jump on record came in at a whopping 33 feet, 5.5 inches.
Although there are many frogs that frequent regional parks, some species need more support than others. The Northern Red-legged Frog (Rana aurora) is a perfect example.
The Northern Red-legged Frog?
The Northern Red-legged Frog (NRLF) is a federally and provincially listed species of special concern. It has experienced notable declines in the region, likely due to urban development, highway construction and habitat loss and degradation. Thankfully, regional parks staff and park partners are working hard to protect the charismatic species by restoring its wetland habitat.
How does PPF fit in?
In early 2019 we presented Pacific Spirit Park Society with a $10,000 grant through the George Ross Legacy Stewardship Program. The funding is being used to restore two wetlands in Pacific Spirit Regional Park. More specifically, the project will increase native vegetation cover on emergent, riparian and upland vegetation; remove invasive species in the area; and decrease large woody debris in the area through removal and monitoring. Project leaders will also monitor NRLF abundance and egg mass over time to assess project success.