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89 gopher frogs released

Learn more about the efforts to help the state-endangered gopher frog.

gopher frog

That thing on its leg is a transmitter — kind of like a GoPro for gopher frogs.

Photo courtesy of Riverbanks Zoo and Garden and the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources

In 2019, it was estimated that only 10,000 gopher frogs remained in the wild. Difficult to conserve due to their elusive habits and habitat loss, it was looking dire for these little dudes.

Enter Riverbanks Zoo and Garden and the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. These powerhouse partners provide a “head start” for gopher frogs by collecting eggs in the wild, and providing tadpole daycare before matured frogs are released into the wild.

The frogs aren’t left to totally fend for themselves. With the help of an $8,500 grant + Riverbanks staff, University of Georgia graduate Adam McFall is expanding on a “soft-release” launch method.

This year, 89 gopher frogs received a little help during their release. Soft-released frogs have access to 18 enclosures and excavated burrows. Hard-released frogs are fitted with transmitters tracking their locations and patterns.

Good luck, gopher frogs.

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