Protecting the Columbia Spotted Frog: A Mission for The Conservancy at Victory Ranch - The Conservancy

From the tallest moose that roams our 4,000 acres of untouched backcountry to the smallest amphibian that resides along our four-mile stretch of the Upper Provo River, Victory Ranch makes preserving the abundant wildlife and diverse native ecosystems an utmost priority.

The Conservancy at Victory Ranch, which is dedicated to the community’s ongoing preservation efforts, is now joining forces with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (UDWR) for its new Head Start program, designed to protect the Columbia spotted frog. This native, ecologically important wetland species is currently on the Utah Sensitive Species List and has recently been petitioned to list under the Endangered Species Act.

Columbia spotted frog Chris Crockett 1 (1)Victory Ranch provides prime habitat for the Columbia spotted frog, which in recent years has faced the threat of habitat alteration and degradation, specifically a loss of wetlands, which are used for feeding, breeding, hibernating and migrating. The Conservancy at Victory Ranch is doing everything it can to help protect and restore the species along its stretch of river and beyond.

Victory Ranch recently built a series of frog ponds, protected within our Conservation Easement, to provide important habitat for the spotted frogs. This spring, personnel from the UDWR along with trained Victory Ranch Outfitters staff will begin collecting Columbia spotted frog eggs from various areas along the Upper Provo River. They will be transplanted to Head Start cages in the new frog ponds, where they can hatch in a protected environment, without the threat of predators. The tadpoles will be monitored weekly by Victory Ranch staff, and fed frozen spinach to increase their growth and chance of survival.

Columbia spotted frog eggs Crockett 1 (1)Once they undergo metamorphosis and become small frogs, they will be released into the surrounding wetlands to move freely on their own. The hope is they will stay in the area and establish a new breeding population, but they will also have the ability to migrate along the Upper Provo corridor through spring seeps, marshes, ponds and streams to other areas with abundant vegetation.

Victory Ranch is proud to participate in the Head Start program as part of our commitment to environmental stewardship, which is at the heart of everything we do. Our stewardship has taken form through a variety of restoration and preservation projects that mark the first steps in our journey towards lasting sustainability.

These programs have preserved the wilderness in our backcountry, returned developed areas to wetlands, maintained our wild fish stock and more. This work just scratches the surface of what we intend to do in our pursuit of sustainability that will protect our 6,700 acres for generations to come.

Read more about The Conservancy at Victory Ranch here.

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