A Ribbiting Discovery

Saturday, May 8, 2010  |  Updated 10:45 AM PDT
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A Ribbiting Discovery

Hayne Palmour IV/North County Times

A pair of mountain yellow-legged frogs, which were captured in the wild, sit in a terrarium at the San Diego Zoo's Institute for Conservation, adjacent to the Wild Animal Park in July.

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An undulating mass of frog eggs in a San Jacinto Mountain stream contains what could be the next generation of a nearly extinct species, along with clues to a worldwide decline in amphibians, the North County Times reported.

The mountain yellow-legged frog eggs had been incubating at the San Diego Zoo's Institute for Conservation Research near Escondido, where researchers had painstakingly bred some of the last remaining adult frogs known to exist.

Last month, they placed the eggs in a cold mountain creek near Idyllwild, 76 miles north of Escondido, according to the paper.

With fewer than 300 adult mountain yellow-legged frogs in Southern California, state biologists have described the creature as the most endangered amphibian in the state and one of the most endangered in the country. Its plight is even more urgent in light of the global collapse of amphibian populations, they say.

Read more: North County Times

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