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Frog Reared by Inmates Proposed for Endangered Species Protection

AP Photo/Boise State University, Janice Engle

The U.S. fish and Wildlife Service has proposed naming the Oregon spotted frog a threatened species.

The frog is famous for the help it has received from friends in prison.

Inmates in Washington’s Cedar Creek Corrections Center have managed a rearing and release program for spotted frogs. And they’ve had a higher success rate than captive breeding programs in zoos.

The spotted frog used to be common in wetlands in the Northwets, from Oregon to British Columbia.

Noah Greenwald with the center for Biological Diversity says there are fewer than 100 spots in the wild where the spotted frog is known to survive.

“Which is, you know, really a precarious situation because pretty much all of those populations are isolated, so if they’re lost for any reason there are no frogs to recolonize that habitat,” he said.

Greenwald says development has wiped out about 90 percent of the frog’s wetland habitat.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will take comments on its proposal to list the frog as threatened and make a decision within a year.