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Wildlife Protection

Keeping It Simple: Easy Ways to Help Wildlife Along Roads

Clearing vegetation protects red-legged frog

Urban and rural development, introduced predators like the bull frog, human disturbances to watersheds, and other factors have caused the federally endangered California red-legged frog to disappear from 99% of its habitat in California's Central Valley. So when U.S. Highway 50 had to be bridged over a creek near Placerville, California, the California Department of Transportation took a simple and proactive step. Although no frogs had been seen on the construction site, they had been spotted within 5 miles of the site, so maintenance crews removed vegetation (blackberry shrubs and non-native grasses) that might have attracted the frogs to the construction site where foundation-drilling would have put them at risk of injury or death. Drill rigs were not brought in until the entire area was cleared, and drill crews checked under their equipment before starting work. No red-legged frogs were ever seen on the site.
--Apr 25, 2003

Chris Collison, (530) 741-4481 or

California red-legged frog
Photo by Chris Brown, U.S Geological Survey
California red-legged frog

Along Roads - California
Updated: 12/12/2012
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