July 9, 2014
Bullfrogs were originally introduced in the 1950s close to the Canada-US border in the South Okanagan. Researchers, private landowners, local conservation organizations, and government have collaborated in bullfrog removal efforts in the South Okanagan since 2004. Removal efforts have drastically reduced bullfrog occurrence near the Canada-US border; however, a handful of bullfrogs can colonize an area within 1 or 2 breeding seasons. Detecting all individuals is essential in preventing the species' spread.
Introduced bullfrogs pose a great threat to native Okanagan amphibians. Bullfrogs are not only voracious predators, but they reproduce rapidly by laying thousands of eggs, out-compete other animals for resources, and spread disease to native amphibians. Many native amphibian species are already at risk due to human influences such as road mortality and pollution. Removing the added threat of bullfrogs is vital to native amphibians' survival in the Okanagan. Bullfrogs take up to 2 seasons to mature into adults, putting permanent ponds and the species which live in permanent ponds, such as the endangered Blotched Tiger Salamander, at particular risk.
Okanagan Similkameen Stewardship is conducting outreach and inventory of potential Bullfrog sites throughout Penticton and Summerland throughout July. They are hosting a Bullfrog Identification and Inventory workshop on Wednesday, July 14 at 7 p.m. at the pond in Skaha Lake Park on South Main and Lee Ave in Penticton. Please RSVP for this workshop, to become a volunteer monitor and citizen scientist, contact Alyson Skinner at 250-809-1980 or send an email.