One Of The 'Worst Invasive Species On Earth' Spotted In Western Washington

By Zuri Anderson

May 2, 2022

Scientists are warning that an invasive species is threatening native wildlife in western Washington. The state Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is asking people to help catch African clawed frogs, which were spotted in Lacey, Bothell, and Issaquah recently, according to KING 5.

"These are considered one of the worst invasive species on earth," Max Lambert, a senior research scientist with WDFW, told reporters. "They've been introduced to Europe, Asia, sometimes in high numbers and they're pretty darned good predators."

Wildlife officials believe the African clawed frogs will threaten the salmon population by consuming the fish's food sources. WFDW has been working hard to restore the population.

"They'll eat a lot of native insects, which are good forage food for our fishes and our amphibians, they will eat tadpoles of our native salamanders, and they'll eat fish. We looked at some of their stomach contents - and they're full of baby fish," Lambert explains.

WFDW, nonprofit Trout Unlimited, and other organizations have been working together to trap these invasive frogs. Trout Unlimited says they've caught about 300 frogs since they started trapping in January.

Officials are reminding residents that having these frogs as pets is illegal. They also emphasize not releasing them into the wild; there are better ways to dispose of them. You can learn more about that HERE.

If you're interested in helping Trout Unlimited remove these frogs, click HERE.

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