Chiricahua Leopard Frog
The year of the frog 2008 marks the tenth year that the Phoenix Zoo has been part of a Chiricahua leopard frog recovery program. The year of the frog also illuminates the plight of so many species of frog and amphibians in general whose populations are reducing or have disappeared altogether in recent years worldwide and in Arizona.
Researchers are working hard to discover the underlying cause of these population crashes. Diseases such as chytridiomycosis and the effects of introduced or invasive species are some the factors identified thus far. In Arizona, the Chiricahua leopard frog has been affected by both factors. Introduced animals, such as bullfrogs, plains leopard frogs, non-native fish, and crayfish, kill our native frog species. Habitat degradation through construction and the diversion of water for human uses has also reduced the availability of suitable habitats locations.