Big news in the Santa Monica Mountains can be in the form of very small things. Such was the case last week when the National Park Service announced nine egg masses from California red-legged frogs. Normally that wouldn’t be cause for celebration, but this particular species, listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, hasn’t been known to reproduce in the mountains in decades.
Ecologist Katy Delaney and her team have been working to kick start a population in the mountains for the past four years. A remaining population of the frogs in the neighboring Simi Hills has been used to source partial egg masses for translocation into the Santa Monicas. The hope was for those eggs to hatch tadpoles, which would grow into adult frogs that would one day reproduce. That’s now happening, at least at one spot.
The Santa Monica Mountains Fund has long maintained a General Wildlife Account to help support ecologists like Delaney do this type of work, from frogs to mountain lions. Consider donating to it here.