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California State Amphibian

California Red-legged Frog Rana draytonii Adopted: June 28, 2014
California state amphibian
California State Amphibian: Califorinia Red-Legged Frog
Photographs

Sea View Elementary School is located near the Salton Sea in Salton City, California.

The idea for an official state amphibian was initiated by Sea View Elementary School 3rd grade teacher Virginia Haddad and students from the "Prodigy Cats" after-school club.

Upon the suggestion from Haddad, the students took on a project to make the red-legged frog the official state amphibian of the State of California.

In 2013, once the students had settled on the idea, they sent a letter to Assemblyman V. Manuel Pérez of Coachella.

They received no response, so a second letter was sent. This time the students were more successful and were eventually able to persuade him to sponsor a bill in the California State Legislature.

Assembly Bill No. 2364 was introduced to the California General Assembly, by Assembly Member V. Manuel Pérez on February 24, 2014.

Assembly Bill No. 2364

An act to add Section 422.7 to the Government Code, relating to state government.

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.

In addition to the students from Sea View Elementary School, supporters of the bill included:

  • Action for Animals (AFA), operating under the simple principle that animals do not exist for humans to eat, wear, experiment on, or use for entertainment.
  • Humane Society of the United States, the nation’s largest animal protection organization, rated the most effective by its peers.
  • Live Oak Associates, Inc., ecological consulting firm offering expert biological and ecological consulting services.
  • Save the Frogs, the world's leading amphibian conservation organization.
  • Sierra Club, the nation's largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization.

Assembly Bill No. 2364 was approved by a full vote of the Assembly on April 24, 2014 (52 ayes, 10 no) and forwarded to the California State Senate for consideration.

The Senate approved the bill on June 19, 2014 (24 ayes, 9 no).

On Saturday, June 28, 2014, Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill No. 2364 designating the California red-legged frog the official state amphibian of California.


Sources...

"AB-2364 State amphibian: California red-legged frog." California Legislative Information. State of California, 30 June 2014. Web. 30 June 2014. <http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201320140AB2364>.

Barkas, Sherry. "V. Manuel Pérez, students make frog a California symbol." The Desert Sun. Gannett Co. Inc., 29 June 2014. Web. 30 June 2014. <http://www.desertsun.com/story/news/politics/2014/06/29/v-manuel-perez-california-state-frog/11721919/>.

Fitzgerald, Kevin. "A Celebrated Frog Indeed: Students Learn About the Legislative Process as They Study the Plight of a Threatened Amphibian." Coachella Valley Independent. Coachella Valley Independent LLC, 23 May 2014. Web. 24 May 2014. <http://www.cvindependent.com/index.php/en-US/news/politics/item/1341-a-celebrated-frog-indeed-students-learn-about-the-legislative-process-as-they-study-the-plight-of-a-threatened-amphibian>.

"Section 422.7." California Legislative Information. California State Legislature. Web. 30 Nov. 2015. <http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes.xhtml>.


Additional Information

California state amphibian
California State Amphibian: Califorinia Red-Legged Frog
Photographs

California Red-legged Frog Rana draytonii (Rana aurora draytonii): National Wildlife Federation's eNature.com field guide now owned and operated by the Shearwater Marketing Group.

California Red-legged Frog (Rana draytonii): U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Arcata Fish and Wildlifw Office.

California Red-Legged Frog: National Wildlife Federation.

California Red-legged Frog - Rana draytonii: A Guide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of California.

California red-legged frog (Rana draytonii): Save the Frogs.

California red-legged frog (Rana draytonii): U.U. Fish & Wildlife Service, Environmental Conservation Online System (ECOS)

Rana draytonii- Baird and Girard, 1852 (California Red-legged Frog): A network connecting science with conservation - NatureServe Explorer: An Online Encyclopedia of Life.

Rana draytonii- Baird and Girard, 1852: Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) Here you will find authoritative taxonomic information on plants, animals, fungi, and microbes of North America and the world.

State amphibians: Complete list of official state amphibians from NETSTATE.COM

More symbols & emblems: Complete list of official California state symbols from NETSTATE.COM.

What is an Amphibian? (The Science of Living Things)
What Is An Amphibian?
Bobbie Kalman
Jacqueline Langille

What is an Amphibian? (The Science of Living Things), by Bobbie Kalman and Jacqueline Langille, 32 pages, Crabtree Publishing Company (2000). Reading level: Ages 9-12. The large, full-color photographs and illustrations that pepper every page of these books will catch the eye of browsers but it is the informative, easy-to-read texts that will hold their interest.

Frogs and Toads of North America: A Comprehensive Guide to Their Identification, Behavior, and Calls
Frogs and Toads of
North America

Lange Elliott
Carl Gerhardt
Carlos Davidson

Frogs and Toads of North America: A Comprehensive Guide to Their Identification, Behavior, and Calls, by Lange Elliott, Carl Gerhardt, and Carlos Davidson. 344 pages. Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (March 17, 2009)

Frogs and Toads of North America is a beautiful and comprehensive photo-filled guide that is the first to show all of the frogs of North America and includes a CD of their calls. Colorful and noisy early indicators of environmental distress, frogs and toads are fascinating to casual nature lovers as well as expert herpetologists. Covering all 101 species in the United States and Canada, this book contains natural history information, identification tips, range and habitat information, summaries of behavior, and descriptions of calls.

A 70-minute audio compact disc includes the calls of nearly every species and makes fascinating listening for any nature lover.The book also has sections on conservation issues, public participation in census programs, photography and sound recording, and keeping frogs and toads as pets. From the olive-and-black Pig Frog, which gets its name from its low-pitched, piglike grunt, to the X-marked and familiar-sounding Spring Peeper, the superb photographs and high-quality field recordings combine with the informative text to make this a must-have book for every naturalist.