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California Red-Legged Frog

California State Amphibian

State Amphibian California red-legged frog (Rana draytonii), Point Reyes National Seashore, Marin County CA Photo by Charles (Chuck) Peterson / Flickr (noncommercial use permitted with attribution/no derivative works).

Official State Amphibian of California

On June 28, 2014 the governor of California approved Bill AB-2364 designating the California red-legged frog (Rana draytonii) as the official state amphibian. All State Amphibians

The California red-legged frog was championed by teacher Virginia Haddad and students from the "Prodigy Cats" after-school club of Sea View Elementary School. Students Samantha Lambarena and Freedom Payne traveled from Southern California to the state capitol in Sacramento to testify on behalf of the frog.

Text from Assembly Bill No. 2364

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

SECTION 1. The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:

(a) The California red-legged frog is the largest native frog in the western United States and is found almost exclusively in California with a few sightings in Baja California and Mexico.

(b) The California red-legged frog is particularly well known as a result of Mark Twain’s famous short story “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County,” which featured the species.

(c) The California red-legged frog’s unique place in California’s history extends as far back as the 19th century Gold Rush. Miners, known as forty-niners, consumed nearly 80,000 frogs per year, nearly eating the species into extinction.

(d) While the California red-legged frog no longer has to fear the fork, the species continues to face myriad natural and manmade threats, including the introduction of invasive species into the California red-legged frog’s habitat, as well as habitat loss. In fact, according to the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, populations of the California red-legged frog have disappeared from nearly 70 percent of its historically known habitat. In May 1996, the species was listed as a federal threatened species, with the state also classifying it as a species of special concern and subject to protection in June 1996.

(e) Declaring the California red-legged frog as the official state amphibian of California will acknowledge the species’ important place in the ecology, culture, and history of California, as well as broadcast and reinforce the state’s commitment to protecting endangered species.

SEC. 2. Section 422.7 is added to the Government Code, to read:

422.7. The California red-legged frog (Rana draytonii) is the official state amphibian.