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Trout like this one were first introduced into the waters of Sixty Lake Basin in the Sierra Nevada nearly a century ago. The fish flourished, creating a paradise for anglers. They also devoured tadpoles and froglets, nearly wiping out native amphibians like the mountain yellow-legged frogs. Trout stocking was stopped here in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks in the 1970s, and now national park staff are working to net out the fish from many lakes in hopes that reduced predation will help frog populations recover.

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A pair of juvenile Yosemite toads (Bufo or Anaxyrus canorus) at the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology at U.C. Berkeley. (IUCN: EN)

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Portrait of an eastern hellbender (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis alleganiensis) at the San Francisco State University.

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An Ensatina salamander (Ensatina eschscholtzii eschscholtzii), a species of salamandar that’s native to the San Francisco Bay area at the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology at U.C. Berkeley.

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Rana marsupial frog (Gastrotheca testudinea) at a captive breeding at Pontificia Universidad Catolica in Quito, Ecuador.

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A marsupial frog (Gastrotheca pseustes) at a captive breeding at Pontificia Universidad Catolica in Quito, Ecuador. (IUCN: EN)

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A care taker holds up a specimen of Gastrotheca pseutes at a captive breeding at Pontificia Universidad Catòlica in Quito, Ecuador. (IUCN: EN)

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Chytrid fungus has swept through Kings Canyon National Park with a vengance. This is one of the last southern moutain yellow-legged frogs (Rana muscosa) in the area. The disease first appeared in this High Sierra basin in 2004, and has virtually wiped out the last stronghold metapopulations of this species. “Worldwide, this is the worst case of a disease causing extinctions in recorded history, and we’re seeing the results of it right here,” said Vance Vredenburg, an amphibian ecologist who has studied the basin for 13 years. (IUCN: EN, US: EN)

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Atelopus nanay at a captive breeding at Pontificia Universidad Catolica in Quito, Ecuador. This animal is critically endangered and very well could be extinct in the wild. Only seven animals are in captivity. (IUCN: CR)

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Portraits of Hyloscirtus pantostictus at a captive breeding at Pontificia Universidad Catòlica in Quito, Ecuador. This is an endangered frog. This is the only one in captivity and it could be extinct in the wild. (IUCN: EN)

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Oophaga sylvatica, the “little devil poison frog” at a captive breeding facility at Pontificia Universidad Catolica in Quito, Ecuador. The species is being heavily affected by habitat loss.

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Extinct species of amphibians at Pontificia Universidad Catòlica in Quito, Ecuador. Many have gone extinct in the last decade or less.

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Ceratophrys stolzmanni, the Pacific horned frog, an endemic burrowing species at the captive breeding facility in Quito, Ecuador. (IUCN: Vulnerable)

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A live male harlequin frog (Atelopus sp.) in amplexus with a female, dead from chytrid fungus, near Limon, Ecuador. The male died a few days later of the same disease. This species is critically endangered and headed toward extinction due to habitat loss and disease, including chytrid fungus.

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A live marine toad or cane toad (Rhinella marina) in amplexus with a female, dead from chytrid fungus, near Limon, Ecuador. The male died a few days later of the same disease.

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A rare male Atelopus frog is swabbed for chytrid fungus by a scientist near Limon, Ecuador.

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An egg mass with developing tadpoles of a glass frog species, possibly Cochranella flavopuctata, near Limon, Ecuador.

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A rare Atelopus frog near Limon, Ecuador. The genus — one of the most threatened in Central and South America — has been wiped out in most other places, and this patch of habitat is threatened by road expansion.

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Amargosa toad (Anaxyrus (Bufo) nelsoni) near Beatty, NV. (IUCN: Endangered)

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Pristimantis sp. photographed at Reserva Las Gralarias, Ecuador.

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Tim Krynak holds up a specimen of a Ecuador cochran frog, Nymphargus griffithsi (IUCN: Vulnerable), a type of glass frog. Tim and his wife Kathy have been coming to this place near Mindo, Ecuador for several years to monitor amphibian life. The Krynaks and their team hope that chytrid fungus does not show up here, but know that many other parts of Ecuador have already seen catastrophic declines due to the fungus. “Every time we come back, if it’s quiet on that first night, we think, ‘oh no’. We’re scared. We think, this is it,” said Tim.

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Columbia spotted frog (Rana luteiventris) from the Toiyabe subpopulation near Austin, NV. (Candidate for listing under the US Endangered Species Act.)

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In King’s Canyon National Park, California, chytrid fungus has swept through with a vengeance. Shown are some of the last southern moutain yellow-legged frogs (Rana muscosa) as they lay dead from the fungus. The disease first appeared in this High Sierra basin in 2004, and has virtually wiped out the last stronghold metapopulations of this species. Where once tens of thousands lived, now fewer than 100 remain. “Worldwide, this is the worst case of a disease causing extinctions in recorded history, and we’re seeing the results of it right here,” said Vance Vredenburg, an amphibian ecologist who has studied the basin for 13 years.

Photo: Julie Jensen Director of Marketing | WVC O: 866.800.7326 | D: 702.443.9249 | E: j.jensen@wvc.org

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