• Two

    John Day Fossil Beds

    National Monument Oregon

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  • Hwy. 26 open between Prineville and Mitchell, OR - Updated Wednesday, July 23, 2014

    US26 mile posts 34.8 To 53 is now open to two way traffic with a 35 MPH speed limit. Motorists are required to use headlights in the affected area. Air quality in the area is poor. Follow link for more detailed information. More »


Image of pacific tree frog, resting on a blade of grass.

Pacific tree frogs (Hyla regilla) hide themselves well in the tall rye grass.

John Day Fossil Beds harbors some unique seeps and springs within monument boundaries that provide "islands" of habitat for amphibians.

Predation by birds, fish and the introduced bullfrog hamper most amphibians along the John Day River. Springs and seeps tucked back into the surrounding hills and mountains allow for several species of amphibians to continue their life cycles.

The western toad, spade foot toad, Pacific tree frog, and long-toed salamander can all thrive in moist pockets scattered around the dry countryside. Listening for male toads and frogs vocalizing is often the best way to find which sites have amphibians and to determine which species are represented.

Early summer vocalizing by the males preceeds mating and subsequent egg laying by females. Eggs typically are laid in strings or large egg masses that float in water and/or get attached to vegetation. The eggs develop and tadpoles hatch. Metamorphosis occurs over the next several weeks. These new adults will then typically burrow into the mud surrounding the spring to hibernate over the winter and then start the cycle all over again.

Did You Know?

Image of three toed horses.

The first horses evolved in North America 50 million years ago, and at least 14 different genera have been found at the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument in Oregon.