Prisoners Help Threatened Frogs

In Washington state, prisoners are helping to restore the Oregon Spotted Frog species, which is threatened and a candidate for the endangered list.

One prisoner was a drug dealer and a pimp. Another stole cars. Now they have jobs in a correctional center that may contribute to the survival of a wild animal they knew nothing about when they were on the streets committing crimes. The inmates give constant care to their tadpoles and frogs to the degree their specimens are healthier and have a greater chance of surviving than those raised by others. In fact, some of the researchers are asking them for advice. One of the inmates working in the frog caretaking program will be released in December and wants to work in a zoo, at least as a volunteer.

Oregon Spotted Frogs live in Oregon, Washington and British Columbia. They have been lost to 78 percent of their former range and were wiped out in California. Usually found in large, warm marshes they eat flies and small fish.

One of the main reasons for the species’ decline is about 95 percent of the historic marsh habitat has been lost. Also the introduction of non-native plants and predatory bullfrogs contributed to the problem. Other predators are river otters, raccoons, herons, and garter snakes. The remaining populations are small and fragmented–two factors which make them more vulnerable to disease, and drought.

Evergreen State College and the Washington Dept. of Fish and Wildlife are collaborating to help the frogs recover.

Last year in Florida inmates were helping take care of companion animals in a shelter program.

Image Credit: William Leonard,

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Patricia H.
Patricia H.3 years ago


New G.
W. C.4 years ago

Thank you.

Brenda Towers
Brenda Towers5 years ago

I am sure that this will a profitable experience for both the men and the frogs. I would like to thank them .

Brenda Towers
Brenda Towers5 years ago

You see there is always hope if you make the effort!

Veronique L.
Veronique L.5 years ago

This is great!

Gita Sasi Dharan
Gita Sasi Dharan5 years ago

Wonderful to hear this. Bless them!

Lika S.
Lika S.5 years ago

I think it's great that prisoners are doing a great community service like this!

Peggy Peters
Peggy Peters5 years ago

Nice to know humans can change themselves as well as the plight of our animals!!!!
Good post!

Celine V.
Celine V.5 years ago

Very nice story and thank you for sharing!

Celine V.
Celine V.5 years ago

Cool program. Exist also with dogs.