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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
5/2/03

Contact: Jack Kaskey
609-984-1795

DEP Upgrades Status of Pine Barrens Tree Frog
Pinelands symbol leaps off endangered species list

May Species of the Month: The Pine Barrens Tree Frog

 

(03/65) TRENTON - Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell today announced he has upgraded the status of the Pine Barrens tree frog, moving it from the endangered species list to the threatened species list.

The frog's improved status is based on biologists' determination that it is locally abundant and that its habitat is well protected by the Pinelands Commission's Comprehensive Management Plan.

"When the Pine Barrens tree frog was added to the endangered species list in 1979, state Pinelands protection s were in their infancy," Campbell said. "The removal of the Pine Barrens tree frog from the state endangered list is testimony to how effective the Pinelands Commission has been at preserving southern New Jersey's natural treasures."

The Pine Barrens tree frog requires specialized habitats that are rare elsewhere but common in the million-acre Pinelands region of southern New Jersey. The species requires acidic water and it favors Atlantic white cedar swamps that are carpeted with dense mats of sphagnum moss. It breeds in shallow ponds that dry up in summer and are free of predators.

Its population is stable in New Jersey, and the state serves as a stronghold for the species throughout its entire range.

Boldly colored, the beautiful Pine Barrens tree frog is considered by many to be a symbol of the New Jersey Pinelands. In 1983 it was the subject of Andy Warhol's screen print series of endangered species.

Because of its improved status, the DEP has declared the Pine Barrens tree frog Species of the Month for May. The protection of the Pine Barrens tree frog is one of many success stories the DEP is celebrating this year to mark the 30th anniversary of the New Jersey Endangered Species Conservation Act and the creation of the DEP's Endangered and Nongame Species Program.

For more information, visit the Species of the Month homepage at www.state.nj.us/dep/fgw/ensp/somhome.htm

 

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