Author: Logan

The frogs are not a threat to the San Gabriel Mountains, officials say .

The frogs are not a threat to the San Gabriel Mountains, officials say .

Rare yellow-legged frogs are returned to drought-hammered San Gabriel Mountains after the state’s Division of Aquatic Resources declared the frogs invasive species and has suspended operations at the site.

The department’s decision came after the state Department of Fish and Wildlife determined the frogs were non-native, invasive and threatened the region’s native species. San Gabriel County has been inundated with calls and emails from concerned citizens who want the frogs to stop, but no action has been taken so far.

The agency could have taken action anytime over the past six years, said spokesman John Filippi, but said they had waited to move forward with the action because they thought the situation would get better.

State biologists confirmed the frogs, which are native to Africa, could potentially spread to other places from “a few inches to a few miles,” Filippi said. Since they come back only once every few decades, Filippi said, they’re not considered a major threat.

“The frogs do not present a threat to the wildlife in the mountains, or even the wildlife in adjacent habitats,” he said. “The frogs do not represent a major threat to any type of wildlife or native vegetation in the San Gabriel Mountains.”

The agency’s actions, however, have been met with strong opposition from many people, especially those who live near the sites, said state wildlife biologist Mike Johnson.

“I’ve been in this business over 25 years, and this has been the first time I’ve seen anything this drastic,” he said. “This isn’t just one frog that’s going to go away. These are frogs that are going to come back and find other places to come back.”

Johnson, who has lived on the San Gabriel Mountains since 1978 and works for California’s Department of Fish and Wildlife, said he has watched the frog invasion from his office window, just outside the mountain he’s called home all his life, on a couple of different occasions. He said he has even seen individual yellow-legged frogs, called “red-bellied” by locals, in the canyon below his office.

“They come in the spring,” he said. “And then in the fall, they come in the fall. And then in the late spring, they come in the late Spring

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