Benbow Dam will be removed this summer and temporary access roads will endanger the yellow-legged frog eggs in the river. On May 1, we helped Dr. Sarah Kupferberg move the eggs to a safer place upstream. We moved 35 eggs masses, each with about 2,000 frog eggs. We will do it again on May 15. See Video
Dr. Sarah Kupferberg, who works extensively with UC Berkeley, has surveyed for yellow-legged frogs on the South Fork Eel River for 18 years. ERRP volunteers joined her in April 2015.
Sarah counts the number of egg masses per kilometer to judge population trends. She has found a substantial increase in the number of yellow-legged frogs in the reach of the South Fork Eel formerly submerged by Benbow Dam.
See her slide show: Foothill Yellow-legged Frog (Rana boylii) Monitoring on the South Fork Eel River.
This type of monitoring is fun and easy - you put on polarized sunglasses and walk upstream on a beautiful spring day, counting the number of egg masses. The frogs don’t mate until the edges of the stream warm. Join Sarah and ERRP as we expand surveys to more reaches in 2016.
Although the Yellow-legged frog seems to be doing well in the SF Eel River, in other places their populations are declining. Endangered Species Act protection sought for rare frog in California, Oregon