Frank Santana, a research technician with the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research, prepares to make the first-ever release of endangered mountain yellow-legged frog tadpoles into a mountain stream. They are among 36 of the Southern California population of mountain yellow-legged frogs reintroduced into a stream near Idyllwild, Calif., Tuesday. There are believed to be less than 200 of the frogs living in the San Gabriel, San Bernardino and San Jacinto mountains. Photo: Courtesy
The restoration of the Hill’s mountain yellow-legged frog population is continuing although no new releases of eggs are planned for 2012, according to Adam R. Backlin, ecologist at the U.S. Geological Survey’s Western Ecological Research Center in Irvine.

“It looks like our captive breeding program this year did not produce as many new frogs as we had hoped. So we will not be releasing any frogs in 2012,” Backlin wrote in an email last week. “Instead we will be head starting the 200 to 300 new frogs to an older life stage in captivity and releasing them in 2013 as juvenile frogs.”

The team continues to monitor frog releases from 2011 and did detect tadpoles in the creek as recently as February 2012, he added.

They are hoping some of tadpoles released in 2011 will have survived this winter and metamorphose into frogs this summer.