Mazama Pocket Gopher

Mazama pocket gophers are an important component in South Sound prairies. While still found in Thurston and Pierce Counties, they are globally rare and considered threatened with extinction by the State of Washington.
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Center for Natural
Lands Management
South Sound Prairies Program
120 Union Ave SE #215
Olympia, WA 98501
Main line: 360-464-1024

Patrick Dunn
South Puget Sound 
Program Director


Sanders Freed
Thurston County Program Manager


Sarah Hamman
Prairie Conservation Science
Program Manager


Mason McKinley
Joint Base Lewis-McChord 
Program Manager


Sierra Smith
Conservation Nursery Program Manager


Elspeth Hilton Kim
Cooperative Conservation Program Manager


Joy Hochstein
Grants Administrator


Technical Information

Cascadia Prairie Oak Partnership brings together professional conservationists and restorationists from throughout the Northwest. If you would like to reference scientific papers about prairies or network with the professional conservation community please contact Elspeth Hilton Kim.

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« Early results of prairie native seed establishment study are in | Main | Request for proposal open: Taylor's checkerspot habitat enhancement review and strategy development »

Creating a home for the Oregon spotted frog

Occurring only in the Northwest, the Oregon spotted frog appears to have been extirpated (made locally extinct) from more than three-quarters of its former range. Historically, these frogs found the habitat they prefer – open water with some shallow areas and aquatic plants – in the flood plains of larger bodies of water. As humans have controlled flooding and introduced invasive species, suitable habitat has decreased.

Conservationists at the Center for Natural Lands Management (CNLM) are working to create and maintain suitable habitat for this frog, a candidate for listing under the federal Endangered Species Act. At Mima Creek Preserve, a conservation area adjacent to the Black River owned by the Nature Conservancy and managed by CNLM, conservationists created five acres of open water ponds and planted native emergent vegetation on what was formerly agricultural or grazed lands. CNLM also works to protect the open water areas from invasive species such as reed canary grass, which can quickly encroach on the ponds.

So far, monitoring indicates the area is a magnet for many native amphibians and reptiles, in addition to other wildlife, although no Oregon spotted frogs have yet been sighted. CNLM plans ongoing monitoring of all amphibians and reptiles and hopes one day to release captive-reared Oregon spotted frogs into the area if they do not return of their own accord.

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