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Invasive frogs found in imported Christmas trees

by Diana Haecker ~ December 18th, 2009

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If you hear a strange sound coming from your newly purchased Christmas tree, there might be a frog hiding somewhere in the branches. Reports of Pacific Chorus frogs being found in holiday trees purchased in the Anchorage area have surfaced over the last two weeks. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game urges residents to check their holiday tree for amphibious hitchhikers they may be unaware they purchased.  

Tracey Gottschalk, zoologist with the Alaska Natural Heritage program at the University of Alaska in Anchorage said that a frog was found in a tree bought at the Bells Nursery in Anchorage. The frogs are native to the Pacific Northwest and don’t pose any danger to people. But they are not native to Alaska and could carry frog-diseases that would be dangerous to Alaska native amphibians such as the wood frog.

Gottschalk said if you find a frog in your tree, euthanize it or bring it to the Alaska Natural Heritage Program at the University of Alaska Anchorage. 

What to do if you find one:

  • Call 1-877-INVASIVE (468-2748)
  • Euthanize the frog by putting Oragel on the head, and/or deliver the frog to Tracey Gotthardt at  (907)257-2782, Alaska Natural Heritage Program – University of Alaska Anchorage, 707 A Street – Anchorage, AK 99501
  • If you find it after business hours, place the frog or toad in your freezer in a freezer bag or other plastic container until you are able to transport it to the above location.

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