FWS expands proposed critical habitat for California red-legged frog
73 Fed. Reg. 53491 / 73 FR 53491-53680 (Tuesday, September 16, 2008)(Volume 73, Number 180)(Department of Interior; Fish and Wildlife Service; 50 CFR Part 17; Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Revised Critical Habitat for the California Red-Legged Frog (Rana aurora draytonii); Proposed Rule)
California red-legged frogs live in a Mediterranean climate, which is characterized by temporal and spatial changes in habitat quality. During a period of abundant rainfall, almost the entire landscape, including breeding ponds and streams, may become suitable habitat for the adults. Conversely, habitat use may be drastically confined during periods of prolonged drought. Due to this variability, population sizes can vary widely from year to year. During favorable years, California red-legged frogs can produce large numbers of dispersing young, resulting in an increase in the number of occupied sites. In contrast, California red-legged frogs may temporarily disappear from an area during periods of extended drought. Therefore, it is essential to provide for sites that can be recolonized by dispersing individuals. Photo from USGS
SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), propose to revise designated critical habitat for the California red-legged frog (Rana aurora draytonii), pursuant to the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). The previous final rule designated 450,288 acres (ac) (182,225 hectares (ha)) of critical habitat. We herein propose to revise those critical habitat boundaries to better reflect lands containing essential features for the California red-legged frog, and we now propose to designate approximately 1,804,865 ac (730,402 ha) of critical habitat in 28 California counties, an increase of approximately 1,354,577 ac) (548,177 ha).