Friday, June 30, 2017

Gopher Frog Conservation Partners USFWS do an Incredible Job in Their First Season of Head-Starting!

This year, USFWS joined GA DNR, UGA, Zoo Atlanta and the Amphibian Foundation in a state-wide project to increase population numbers of Georgia's rarest frog — The Gopher Frog. The fish hatchery at Warm Springs, and it's exceptional staff of biologists were excited to use their incredible facilities to rear amphibians. Historically, they have been focused on other aquatic vertebrates (fish) and invertebrates (muscles). The service has done an amazing job this year and we are excited to partner with them on another amphibian conservation project.  With USFWS covering assisted-metamorphosis for the species, the Amphibian Foundation and Zoo Atlanta are developing a program for the captive breeding of the species. The images below were taken by Carlos Echevarria, the Hatchery Manager at Warm Springs.

USFWS Biologists checking the development of Gopher Frog larvae at the Warm Spring facility
Over 700 Gopher Frogs were reared through the assisted metamorphosis program this year @ Warm Springs. This is USFWS first year collaborating on a project that has been head-starting Gopher Frogs for 11 years.
Carlos Echevarria of USFWS inspecting a recently metamorphosed Gopher Frog prior to release.
USFWS Biologist Josh Simmons getting ready to release hundreds of Gopher Froglets at Fall Line Sandhills