Famed Frog Rediscovered After Years of Presumed Local Extinction

Speaking of Mark Twain, the amphibian he made famous in “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County” has been discovered in the eponymous California region, 34 years after it was thought to have disappeared. A few of the threatened frogs were found by the 6- and 10-year-old children of a local cattle rancher, who were playing around water holes on their property in western Calaveras County. Biologists verified the species, last seen in 1969, and are seeking funding to develop a captive-breeding program to protect and expand the estimated current population of 10 to 20 individuals. The frogs have been hit hard over the years by habitat loss, climate change, pesticide use, and increased ultraviolet radiation due to ozone depletion. The mother of the two children who discovered the frogs said the creatures had “warmed the hearts of our whole family.”