Every spring, our research team and partners head out into the field to collect tadpoles for head-starting and to supplement the captive population at the Wilder Institute. Captive-bred offspring and head-started tadpoles and frogs are reintroduced to suitable locations in British Columbia, as determined by the British Columbia Northern Leopard Frog Recovery Team. Reintroduction sites are often supplemented with wild-to-wild translocations as well.
To track the survival and breeding status of the reintroduced individuals, the Wilder Institute conducts annual monitoring at release sites which includes breeding call surveys using autonomous recording units and visual encounter surveys.
As part of a wider goal of improving amphibian conservation in North America, our staff are also members of the Oregon Spotted Frog and Northern Leopard Frog Captive Husbandry Group, the British Columbia Northern Leopard Frog Recovery Team, the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) Amphibians & Reptiles subcommittee, and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Species Survival Commission Amphibian Specialist Group.
The goal of the conservation breeding program is to increase the number of northern leopard frogs that can be reintroduced back into the wild. The Wilder Institute launched the program in 2017 and our new facility was designed to provide a high standard of care for captive frogs. We have tried to replicate conditions in the wild to encourage natural behaviours such as breeding and foraging.
Our conservation impact
To help with recovery efforts for the northern leopard frog, the Wilder Institute established a captive assurance population and conservation breeding program for this species. Research on genetics, reproduction, population ecology, habitat, and ways to improve survey techniques for this species continues.