What is happening to our local frogs and newts?
Exotic crayfish, fish, and bullfrogs are introduced species that are not native to the local environment and they are eating our native frogs and newts. In southern California, particularly in our local Mediterranean ecosystem, native amphibians are adapted to seasonal water flow, where streams are wet during the winter and spring and dry for the rest of the year. Urban development has resulted in a change in the habitat for many of our local streams. The constant flow of urban run-off creates deep channels and permanent year round water, which benefits the exotic crayfish, fish, bullfrogs, and turtles that need the constant water for survival and reproduction. The exotic species were introduced to the streams by people who use them as fishing bait or are released pets. Researchers have found that our local native frog and newt populations are significantly reduced or no longer exist in streams where introduced crayfish, fish and bullfrogs are found.
What can you do?
- Do not release unwanted pets (e.g. fish, turtles, frogs, crayfish) into streams
- Do not collect amphibians from streams; we need as many as possible in nature for the populations survival
- Reduce urban run-off: focus sprinklers to water lawns and plants - not sidewalks, don’t over water, choose a broom to clean walkways – not a hose, wash cars at a car wash, and angle rain gutters into planters or lawn.
- Keep pets out of streams to keep dogs and cats from killing frogs and newts
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