Press Release: 01/30/2014

Oakland Zoo’s Conservation Speaker Series Presents: Saving the Mountain Yellow-Legged Frog

Contact:
nicky Mora, Senior Manager, Marketing/PR Amy Gotliffe, Conservation Director
(510) 632-9525 ext. 130 (510) 632-9525 ext. 122
nmora@oaklandzoo.org amy@oaklandzoo.org


Oakland, CA – On Wednesday, February 5, 2014, from 6:30pm – 9:30pm, the public is invited to attend a Conservation Speaker Series focused on saving the Mountain Yellow-Legged frog. This frog species, which once hopped throughout California’s upper elevations, has dropped significantly in numbers, more than ninety percent in the past decade, due in part to chytrid, a skin fungus that thickens the frog’s skin so they can’t breathe.

Oakland Zoo welcomes guest speaker Vance T. Vredenburg, Ph.D., a professor at San Francisco State University where his research is dedicated to the ecology, evolution, and conservation of amphibians. Find out how Dr. Vredenburg and his team helped develop a groundbreaking treatment for the frogs in crisis and why relationships with local zoos, like Oakland Zoo, are vital to saving this animal from extinction. Zookeepers at Oakland Zoo will soon be working hands-on with these creatures and will have a direct role in their recovery back into the wild.

“We are all so fortunate to live in this beautiful state of California with its rich diversity of habitats and wildlife,” said Amy Gotliffe, Conservation Director at Oakland Zoo. “It is an honor to engage in the hands-on work needed to conserve a native amphibian, and a thrill to share the leadership and hope of Dr. Vredenburg with our community on February 5.”

“Partnerships like the one we are developing with Dr. Vredenburg and his lab at San Francisco State University are critical to not only learning more about these amazing frogs and the threats they face but also taking real steps into making sure that the Mountain Yellow-Legged frog continues to occupy its vital alpine habitat niche,” said Victor Alm, Zoological Manager at Oakland Zoo. “One cannot have enough collaborations of this kind.”

The Conservation Speaker Series will take place in Oakland Zoo’s Zimmer Auditorium, located in the lower entrance of the Zoo. Parking is free and the admission price for the evening’s speaker presentations is $12.00 - $20.00 per person (sliding scale). All proceeds from this event will be donated to the San Francisco State Mountain Yellow-Legged Frog project.

For additional information about Oakland Zoo’s Conservation Speaker Series, please contact Amy Gotliffe, Conservation Director.

ABOUT DR. VANCE VRENDENBURG: Vance Vredenburg was raised in Mexico and the United States. His scientific training began as an undergraduate at the University of California Santa Barbara where he worked on ecological research projects in coastal California, Alaska, the Caribbean and Antarctica. His Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley (2002) included whole-lake experiments that showed recovery of declining frogs in the Sierra Nevada, California after removal of introduced trout. His current research focuses on the impacts of an emerging infectious amphibian disease (chytridiomycosis), the phylogeography of amphibians (using genetics, morphology, and mating behavior), and climate change impacts on aquatic food webs using stable isotopes. Vredenburg is the co-founder of AmphibiaWeb (www.AmphibiaWeb.org), an online conservation resource for the world’s amphibians. His research is currently funded by the National Science Foundation and seeks to understand how some populations of frogs survive epidemics. Vance Vredenburg is a research associate at the California Academy of Sciences and the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology.

ABOUT OAKLAND ZOO:

The Bay Area's award-winning Oakland Zoo is home to more than 660 native and exotic animals. The Zoo offers many educational programs and kid's activities perfect for science field trips, family day trips and exciting birthday parties. Oakland Zoo is dedicated to wildlife conservation onsite and worldwide. Nestled in the Oakland Hills, in 500-acre Knowland Park, the Zoo is located at 9777 Golf Links Road, off Highway 580. The East Bay Zoological Society (Oakland Zoo) is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization supported in part by members, contributions, the City of Oakland and the East Bay Regional Parks.

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