The Mississippi Sandhill Crane National Wildlife Refuge is going to great lengths to save the endangered dusky gopher frog from extinction.
As many as 56 new specimens of the dusky gopher frog have been released this Friday in the refugee center, thus upping the total number to 1,074.
The specialists from the refugee are working hard to recreate the natural habitat of the small frog, in order to better the chances of their reproduction. They are bringing in sweet gum leaves and pine straw, so that their development can occur in the best possible conditions.
Essentially, the Mississippi Sandhill Crane National Wildlife Refuge in Jackson County are bringing in the endangered frogs all the way from Saucier in Harrison County, where they have located an existing population.
They collect tadpoles of the dusky gopher frog from Saucier and transport them to Jackson, where they put them into specially prepared tanks that meet their delicate needs. And when the tadpoles become adults, they can be released into the actual reservation, all in the hope that they will thrive there and reproduce successfully.
The dusky gopher frog, also known as the Mississippi gopher frog, is a small amphibian, as is grows to be up to 3 inches long. The mini frog has a warty black and brown dorsal surface, so it is pretty easy to spot.
It has some pretty impressive characteristics, including special defense mechanisms. It can inflate its body and it can release a milky dense substance from specialized glands located inside the warts from its skin. This substance is very bitter and therefore is able to keep the attackers away.
Another thing the dusky gopher frog does is use its forelimbs to cover its eyes when it feels threatened, which is probably one of the most adorable characteristics to ever be displayed by an amphibian. It is a truly heartwarming sight that has earned the miniature frogs quite some popularity among biology aficionados.
The Mississippi gopher frog, or Lithobates sevosus by its official name, has been introduced on the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s Endangered Species list ever since 2001.
Hopefully, through the great efforts that the specialists from the Mississippi Sandhill Crane National Wildlife Refuge are putting in, their numbers will be boosted substantially, so that we may keep these interesting amphibians among us for a while longer.
Image Source: gulflive.com