SALEM, Ore. – Two non-native and potentially invasive Cuban treefrogs (Osteopilus septentrionalis) were found Monday to be hitchhiking on nursery plants sold at one location in Oregon and another purchased online.
ODFW advises that all nursery plant retailers and customers inspect all products and contact wildlife officials if any frogs or other species are found hitchhiking on or inside of a product.
Please do not release any found animals into the wild and check with ODFW for specific identification of the species. If you find insects or snails, please report them to the Oregon Invasive Species hotline by calling 1-866-INVADER or visiting https://oregoninvasiveshotline.org.
At this time, wildlife officials are not sure if a Cuban treefrog could survive the entire year in Oregon but it could possibly survive the late spring to early fall timeframe in many parts of the state.
“It’s critical to prevent non-native species from entering Oregon rather than try to deal with them once they’ve become established,” said Rick Boatner, ODFW Invasive Species Supervisor. “This particular species of treefrog is a threat to native frogs and other amphibians in places where they have become established such as Florida because they can quickly reproduce and out-compete native frog species for food or space,” added Boatner.
Cuban treefrogs prey on other frogs, tadpoles, small lizards and snakes. “They also secrete a mucus that may irritate your eyes and nose and cause allergy-like symptoms and possibly trigger an asthma attack,” warned Boatner.
Similar to another invasive species incident that occurred last month involving zebra mussels found in Marimo Balls (Moss Balls) in aquariums, non-native tree frogs entered Oregon through a supply chain.
For more information about Oregon’s native frog and toad species, visit the Oregon Conservation Strategy website; Cascades Frog, Columbia Spotted Frog, Foothill Yellow-legged Frog, Northern Red-legged Frog, Oregon Spotted Frog, the Rocky Mountain Tailed Frog and the Western Toad.