If you were to pick up a mountain yellow-legged frog to inspect its yellow legs and underbelly, , you’d smell … garlic? Emitting a pungent odor when disturbed, this small frog sticks close to water and can be found in the alpine lakes, creeks and streams of the Sierra Nevada as well as in southern California. Once abundant throughout much of its historic habitat, the mountain yellow-legged frog has seen its population plunge by 90% in the last hundred years as a result of predation from nonnative trout, the use of pesticides, drought and disease.
Already faced with many threats, the mountain yellow-legged frog could be severely impacted by global warming. The loss of snowpack may cause its lakes and streams to dry out during the critical summer months when this rare amphibian breeds. The mountain yellow-legged frog is also threatened by infectious chytrid fungus, which has broken out in amphibian populations across the globe in areas disturbed by global warming.
Irreplaceable in Your Neighborhood