Photo Credit: ODFW - northern red-legged frogDo you have a pond or wetland on your property or have you noticed any ponds or wetlands possibly around where you work or during your walk around the neighborhood?

Amphibians, which include frogs, salamanders and newts, lay their eggs in ponds, wetlands, and slow areas of rivers. Some of our native amphibians have small or declining populations, so aquatic habitats where they breed are very important.

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) biologist Susan Barnes and volunteer coordinator Jim Holley are leading volunteers on amphibian egg mass surveys in Clackamas County. They are looking for ponds, wetlands, and stream backwaters to survey during the month of February. Maybe you’ve heard frogs behind your house before, but you don’t know what kind live back there. This is an opportunity to find out what’s in your pond. Barnes and Holley can tell you exactly what type they and their volunteers find.

The goal of the amphibian egg mass surveys is to figure out what areas our native species are using and track those areas over time. They are most interested in the northern red-legged frog, which is a State Sensitive Species. A Sensitive Species has threats causing declining populations and/or degraded habitats. Northern red-legged frogs are being affected by habitat loss and invasive bullfrogs.

Photo Credit: GARY NAFIS - western pond turtles Later on this year, Barnes, Holley, and volunteers will survey for turtles in Clackamas County. If you know of any place that may have turtles, theycan tell you what species you helped them find. They are particularly interested in western pond turtles and western painted turtles. Both turtle species are also State Sensitive Species. Threats to these native turtles include habitat loss, illegal collecting, and competition with nonnative turtles, such as red-eared sliders.

ODFW and Molalla River Watch are looking for habitats with amphibian egg masses, frogs, salamanders, and/or turtles to record their range and identify potential restoration projects. Molalla River Watch can help landowners find funds for habitat improvement projects to provide high quality aquatic habitats for native frogs and turtles to thrive. Molalla River Watch is committed to assisting local landowners in accomplishing their wildlife habitat and pond/streamside property goals.

How you can help make a difference in the future of native Oregon wildlife:

• Contact Molalla River Watch with potential amphibian egg laying sites and/or turtle habitats

• Volunteer with amphibian egg mass surveys and/or turtle surveys

• Please contact Molalla River Watch with any other ideas for getting involved in restoration on your property or to volunteer. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone Kay Patteson at 503-824-2195.