Lithobates capito Range
Most of its range is contained within the range of the Gopher Tortoise Gopherus polyphemus in the southeastern US coastal plain. Declines
Gopher Frog is Georgia's rarest frog species, with just a few populations remaining in the state. Recent evidence indicates that they are still declining in the remaining habitat, despite it's being protected. We need to save this beautiful species before it is too late! Habitat
Gopher Frogs are temporary wetland breeding amphibians, and breed in fish-less wetlands that dry out periodically throughout the year. The are Long Leaf Pine ecosystem endemics. This Long Leaf Pine ecosystem has been reduced to 3% of it's original range in the southeastern coastal plain. Threats
Major threats include loss of habitat and fire suppression. Gopher Frogs need open canopy ponds with wiregrass and this habitat disappears when naturally occurring wild fires are suppressed. Because of this, Gopher Frogs are disappearing from protected lands. Recovery Plan
The Amphibian Foundation is working closely with GA DNR, UGA, Zoo Atlanta and USFWS to establish captive propagation colonies of Lithobates capito. We hope to earn how to breed this species in captivity in order to produce offspring which can then be released into properly managed habitat in SE Georgia. Gopher Frog metamorphs and late-stage larvae have been experimentally released into protected land, managed by The Nature Conservancy for 10 years. This experimentally released population has begun to establish at the release site and we hope to detect further signs of positive establishment in the upcoming field seasons.