Chorus frogs invade Christmas trees

Posted: Friday, December 18, 2009

JUNEAU - Reports of Pacific Chorus frogs being found in holiday trees purchased in the Anchorage area surfaced over the last two weeks, the state Department of Fish and Game reports.

Residents should check their holiday tree for amphibious hitchhikers they may be unaware of, the department said.

The amphibians are not native to Alaska, Fish and Game Invasive Species Program Project Leader Tammy Davis said.

"These 'live ornaments' may seem like a bonus purchase, but they are outside their native range," Davis said.

The frogs are unlikely to become invasive, but a concern is that they could pose a risk to native amphibian populations if they are carrying pathogens, Davis said.

Fish and Game asked residents to inspect their Christmas trees and nearby surroundings for frogs or toads with grey, brown, rust, black or green coloration. The frogs should be killed by putting Oragel on its head, then put in a freezer in a plastic bag until it can be transported to Anchorage.

The department did not report that the frogs have been found in Juneau.

Residents are also asked to report any of the frogs found in their tree or trimmings by calling 877-INVASIVE (468-2748).

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