In a wetland near the banks of the Deschutes River, Jennifer O’Reilly stepped cautiously into half a foot of water in search of an elusive creature whose small size belies its importance. Crouching in a pair of waders, she peered through oversized sunglasses into a dark pool reflecting cotton ball clouds and blue sky.

The Oregon spotted frog, a rare amphibian O’Reilly has researched for over two decades, was her focus. The frogs have been breeding and depositing egg masses in shallow ponds across the region since late March.

Spotted frog habitat

A wetland near the Slough Day Use Area and Deschutes River, southwest of Bend. The site is one of the areas U.S. Fish & Wildlife biologist Jennifer O’Reilly will check for spotted frog eggs to assess their population.  

Spotted frog habitat

U.S. Fish & Wildlife biologist Jennifer O’Reilly talks about the kinds of wetland areas where spotted frogs will lay eggs near the Slough Day Use Area southwest of Bend. The site is one of the areas O’Reilly will check for eggs to assess the spotted frog population.  

Spotted frog habitat

U.S. Fish & Wildlife biologist Jennifer O’Reilly looks for signs of spotted frog eggs and talks about the conditions in which spotted frogs will lay eggs while in a wetland near the Slough Day Use Area southwest of Bend.  

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Reporter: 541-617-7818,

mkohn@bendbulletin.com

Michael Kohn has been public lands and environment reporter with The ֱܽ since 2019. He enjoys hiking in the hills and forests near Bend with his family and exploring the state of Oregon.

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(2) comments

104770

More efforts should be done to manage the invasive bullfrog populations that over compete with the spotted frogs.

guest4c73cc4c115457f52a25112f

Love this news. Impressive reporting and excellent writing. I would have liked to hear the bigger picture value of protecting the animals that facilitate the frog’s survival. I can hear many readers asking why they are significant enough to protect.

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