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Aquarium of the Bay Leaps Forward with New Exhibits; Previews the Pacific Tree Frog and Western Toad


Just in time for leaping forward into day light savings time, Aquarium of the Bay will preview the Pacific Tree Frog and Western Toad during its "Spring Forward: Invasion of the Land Animals" event on Sunday, March 8, 2009. Led by the Aquarium’s Husbandry and Conservation departments, "Spring Forward" is a part of a series of fun and interactive events providing sneak peeks into the Aquarium’s much-anticipated new exhibits opening April 4, 2009.

The Pacific Tree Frog, Pseudacris regilla, is the most widespread local frog species, found from British Columbia to Baja and as far east as Montana and Nevada. It is also very popular amongst the Hollywood set, as the frog’s ribbit or calling noise is used regularly on the big and small screen. During its tadpole stage, the frog enjoys a vegetarian diet; following metamorphosis, it switches over to savory delicacies such as crickets and arthropods. While the Pacific Tree Frog species overall is in healthy condition, its vitality is dependent on climactic conditions. Near Reno, Nevada, the species was eliminated ten times in the 1900’s due to flooding or drought, but has since rebounded.

Another new amphibian face to be introduced is the Western Toad, Bufo boreas. This animal prefers to crawl versus hop, and can be found in areas ranging from mountain meadows to desert flats, from Alaska through California. Females lay long strings of up to 12, 000 eggs per clutch, which hatch in three to ten days. The toad reaches maturity in four to six years and typically lives up to nine years. While it is widely distributed, it is negatively impacted by chytrid fungus, which is affecting amphibian species worldwide. Loss of wetlands from environmental and human factors also threatens the toad’s vitality.

It is estimated that at least one-third of known amphibian species are threatened with extinction. Aquarium of the Bay, a member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), cares for and works to conserve local amphibian species and is a proud supporter of the AZA’s "Spring Forward for Amphibians" efforts.

The Invasion of the Land Animals events includes live animal showing and interaction, hands-on activities and more. The events are free with Aquarium admission. Upcoming dates include:

March 8: "Spring Forward" featuring the Pacific Tree Frog and Western Toad
March 14: "Shells" featuring the Western Pond Turtle and Cherry Headed Red Legged Tortoise
March 21: "Soft and Prickly" featuring the Chinchilla and African Pygmy Hedgehog

The Pacific Tree Frog and Western Toad will be part of PG&E Bay Lab, a unique interactive climate change exhibit sponsored by Pacific Gas and Electric Company. The exhibit features land-dwelling animals as nature’s ambassadors, promoting energy conservation to protect their habitats from the potential impact of climate change.

About Aquarium of the Bay

Aquarium of the Bay is a unique nature center dedicated to creating experiences that inspire conservation of the San Francisco Bay and all marine environments. It is the only aquarium featuring exhibits focused specifically on the rich and diverse aquatic life and distinctive ecosystems of the Bay and its neighboring waters. The Aquarium is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, and certified as a Green Business by the city of San Francisco. Additional information is available at 

See Also: Aquarium of the Bay Wins IAAPA Brass Ring Award for Best-in-Class Website
Aquarium of the Bay Taps Jon Altemus as Director of Exhibits and Special Projects 
PG&E Partners With Aquarium of the Bay to Encourage Energy Conservation


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