Red-legged frogs made famous by Mark Twain are once again roaming around Yosemite Valley after a half-century absence.
Ecologists this spring found clusters of eggs in meadows and ponds, proof of the first breeding by the frogs in Yosemite since 2017, when adult red-legged frogs were reintroduced after a 50-year absence, Yosemite National Park Superintendent Mike Reynolds said Monday.
"It's unusual to find eggs in any location and to find them this soon is a strong indication that red-legged frogs are adapting successfully to the riparian areas where we reintroduced them," Reynolds said.
The California red-legged frog is named for its colorful legs and belly. It was featured in Twain's short story "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County."
The frog disappeared from Yosemite in part because non-native, predatory bullfrogs first introduced to a reflection pond spread throughout the valley and, over time, gobbled them up.