California Fish and Game Commission Lists Certain Groups of Foothill Yellow-Legged Frog as Candidate Species Under the California Endangered Species Act

April 2020

In April 2017, the Center for Biological Diversity petitioned the California Fish and Game Commission (“Commission”) to list the Foothill Yellow-Legged Frog (“FYLF”) as threatened under the California Endangered Species Act (“CESA”). On March 10, 2020, the Commission published a notice of findings in response to the petition for the FYLF. The Commission made the following findings:

  1. That listing the Southwest/South Coast, West/Central Coast, and East/Southern Sierra clades[1] of FYLF as “endangered” is warranted;
  2. That listing the Northeast/Northern Sierra and Feather River clades of FYLF as “threatened” is warranted; and
  3. That listing the Northwest/North Coast clade is not warranted at this time.

The Commission made these distinctions among FYLF based on evidence demonstrating that certain groups are more threatened from habitat modification or destruction, human activity, and disease. A map establishing the different FYLF populations can be found here.

The Commission filed amended regulatory language with the Office of Administrative Law on March 10, 2020. The regulations became effective on March 19. Accordingly, “take” of FYLF is expressly prohibited for all groups of FYLF without an Incidental Take Permit, except for FYLF in the Northwest/North Coast areas.

[1] A “clade” is a group of organisms believed to have evolved from a common ancestor, according to the principles of cladistics.

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James Anderson is an Associate at Harrison, Temblador, Hungerford & Johnson LLP in Sacramento, California.

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