By City News Service
Three dozen tadpoles from an endangered species of frog bred at the San Diego Zoo were released into a stream near Idyllwild on Tuesday, zoo officials said.
The tadpoles were released into the stream, within the University of California James San Jacinto Mountains Reserve in Riverside County, with the hope of restoring the Southern California population of the mountain yellow-legged frog.
"This is a very exciting day for everyone involved in this important effort to save this frog," said Becca Fenwick, director of the reserve. "We are proud to be part of the effort to save this species that once thrived throughout Southern California."
Researchers and scientists will regularly monitor the progress of the tadpoles.
"We will be monitoring carefully in hopes these tadpoles will be the beginning of the species' resurgence," Fenwick said.
Earlier this year, eggs from the yellow-legged from were reintroduced in the same area.
The project to save the species of amphibian is a collaboration between the San Diego Zoo's Institute for Conservation Research, U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and California's Fish and Game and Transportation departments.
The mountain yellow-legged frog is one of three frogs or toads on the federal Endangered Species List in Southern California.
Tuesday, only a small population of less than 200 adult mountain yellow-legged frogs can be found in the San Gabriel, San Bernardino and San Jacinto mountains.