New Amphibian Ambassadors at Lindsay Wildlife Museum

A tiny Pacific chorus frog known for its deep “ribbit,” and a California tiger salamander, an endangered species in parts of the state, are Lindsay Wildlife Museum’s newest amphibian ambassadors.

The frog and salamander have joined the museum’s more than 50 species of native California animals, including a gray fox, owls, eagles, an opossum, snakes, spiders and hawks. Most of the museum’s ambassadors are live, wild animals that can no longer live in the wild because of permanent injury, dependence on human care, or lack of information about where they came from, since animals released outside their native region are not likely to survive.

The Pacific chorus frog (Pseudacris regilla) measures only 1 inch (2.5 cm) in length. The frog stowed away in the car of a Walnut Creek, California resident who had driven to Sacramento and back. This frog species has a loud, pronounced call that is often used for sound effects in movies and TV shows. The frog is now part of educational programs at the museum and the museum’s outreach to schools.

The California tiger salamander (Ambystoma californiense) was brought to Lindsay Wildlife Museum’s rehabilitation hospital in Walnut Creek for injuries including an amputated foot. Not only has the salamander recovered, it is regrowing its front left foot! Limb regeneration is known in some salamander species, but this adaptation is not well documented in California tiger salamanders. Museum staff have worked with non-releasable tiger salamanders for decades. Their experienced caregiving is enabling this salamander to heal through its natural regenerative process. When fully recovered, the salamander will become part of the museum’s educational programs.

Educating the public about amphibians, their adaptations, and environmental threats to their survival is especially important since scientists have reported the accelerating disappearance of frog species all over the world, said Michele Setter, director of animal encounters at Lindsay Wildlife Museum. To learn more about the new amphibian ambassadors, or any of the museum’s ambassadors including those on daily public display, go to http://wildlife-museum.org/visit/ambassadors. Lindsay Wildlife Museum connects people with wildlife to inspire responsibility and respect for the world we share.

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