Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frogs, mountain yellow-legged frogs and Yosemite toads are on the brink of extinction. They're experiencing sharp population declines due to introduced fish, toxic pesticides, killer diseases and habitat loss.
More than half of Yosemite toad populations are now gone. The situation is even worse for yellow-legged frogs: Their populations have declined by about 90 percent.
Protection under the Endangered Species Act is the best way to reverse these declines and put these rare amphibians on the path to recovery. Thankfully the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is considering a proposal to do just that.
But anti-environmental politicians, Tea Party groups and others who oppose state and federal regulations are denouncing proposals to protect these rare amphibians. Sierra Nevada's frogs and toads desperately need your help.
Take action now: Send a message calling on the Service to protect California's rare amphibians.
I am writing in strong support of the proposed listing under the Endangered Species Act, with critical habitat designations, for Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frogs, Northern Distinct Population Segment of mountain yellow-legged frogs, and Yosemite toads.
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These amphibians face introduced predators, disease, pesticides and habitat destruction. The best way to ensure their survival and recovery is to provide protection against these threats using the Endangered Species Act.
Although they were once some of the most abundant frogs in California, about 90 percent of the populations of Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frogs and mountain yellow-legged are gone. Yosemite toads also suffer sharp population declines -- they are missing from about half of their previously known sites.
Decisions about Endangered Species Act listings must be based on the best available science. With plummeting populations and shrinking habitats, the science clearly shows that protections and critical habitat designations are necessary for these amphibians. The proposed critical habitat areas will also protect riparian areas and wet meadows that provide habitat for other species as well as fresh, clean water for many Californians.
When the time comes to make the final decision, I hope that these imperiled amphibians receive the protections they desperately need.