Invasive American bullfrogs worry Creston Valley conservationists

"It's just a matter of time before they get here, really. We might have a big problem on our hands," a biologist and conservationist said of the encroaching threat of American bullfrogs in the Creston Valley.

'They can eat just about anything,' says conservationist

The Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area says the invasive American bullfrog is getting dangerously close to the Creston Valley and could threaten the northern leopard frog in its last habitat in B.C. (Angel DiBilio/Shutterstock)

The invasive American bullfrog is getting dangerously close to the Creston Valley and could threaten the northern leopard frog in its last habitat in B.C.

That's what conservationists with the Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area say, and on Tuesday, they will hold an open house to let locals know what the bullfrog looks like and what to do if one is seen.

"They're very voracious animals, and they're large," Marc-André Beaucher, head of operations with the Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area told Radio West host Audrey McKinnon.

"They can eat just about anything,

"They compete for habitat. They also will actually eat the leopard frogs. They're about two to three times their size … they can change the habitat by changing the dynamic of the predator-prey function within a wetland."

Beaucher says the American bullfrog has been seen only four kilometres south of the Creston Valley.

And since the bullfrogs can travel five kilometres each year, they could be in the valley at any time.

"It's just a matter of time before they get here, really. We might have a big problem on our hands."

Northern leopard frogs are endangered in B.C., and an intensive recovery program has been in place for the last 15 years to stabilize the species.

To help mitigate the impact of bullfrogs coming into their last B.C. habitat, Beaucher and his colleagues are intensifying monitoring efforts.

He's asking members of the public who see or hear a bullfrog to contact the Ministry of Forests and Natural Resource Operations or the Central Kootenay Invasive Species Society.

The Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area will be providing further education at their offices Tuesday at 6 p.m.

With files form CBC Radio One's Radio West


To hear the full story, click the audio labelled: Conservationists fear invasive bullfrogs coming to Creston Valley