Don’t Let It Loose! – American Bullfrog, Rana catesbeiana
Where does the species originate from?
Bullfrogs are native to eastern North America.
How are they introduced and spread?
Bullfrogs have been introduced accidentally during fish stocking operations, and stocked intentionally as a food source (frog legs anyone?), biological control agent of insect pests, or released as unwanted pets or classroom specimen.
Bullfrogs are not picky eaters and will consume anything they can fit in their large mouths. Check out this video to see what I mean! (http://video.nationalgeographic.com/video/animals/amphibians-animals/frogs-and-toads/frog_bull/). Because of their large size and voracious appetite, bullfrogs displace native species, prey directly on many native species, and compete with native species for limited food resources. Bullfrogs are known to spread a potentially lethal skin disease (a chytrid fungus), which has led to the extinction of at least 100 frog species worldwide. The bullfrog has also been blamed for the decline of many native amphibian populations in western states including: leopard frogs, garter snakes, red-legged frogs, Oregon spotted frogs, and Western pond turtles.
· Bullfrogs may travel overland up to a mile to find new habitat.
· The American Bullfrog is on the list of 100 of the World’s Worst Invasive Alien Species.
· A group of frogs is called an “army”.
Don’t Let It Loose! The bullfrog is classified as a prohibited aquatic animal species in the state of Washington (http://apps.leg.wa.gov/WAC/default.aspx?cite=220-12-090) and may not be possessed, imported, purchased, sold, transported, or released into state waters.
Submitted by Jen Poirier