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Pesticides Are Involved With Population Declines of Amphibians in the California Sierra Nevadas
Several species of frogs and toads are in serious decline in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California. These species include the threatened red-legged frog (Rana aurora), foothill yellow-legged frog (R. boylii), mountain yellow-legged frog (R. muscosa), Cascades frog (Rana cascadae), western toad (Bufo boreas) and Yosemite toad (B. canorus). For many of these species current distributions are down to 10% of historical ranges [1,2]. Several factors including introduced predators [3,4,5], habitat loss , and ultraviolet radiation  have been suggested as causes of these declines. Another probable cause is air-borne pesticides from the Central Valley of California. The Central Valley, especially the San Joaquin Valley, is a major agricultural region where millions of pounds of active ingredient pesticides are applied each year (http://www.cdpr.ca.gov/dprdatabase.htm). Prevailing westerly winds from the Pacific Coast transport these pesticides into the Sierras [7,8].