Ecology of Foothill Yellow-Legged Frog

Ecology of Foothill Yellow-Legged Frog program image

A workshop on the biology, life history, conservation and more of the Foothill Yellow-Legged Frog. The workshop will include both virtual lectures and in-person training in the field.

Day 1

Thursday, May 4, 2023
9:00 AM - 12:30 PM
Virtual Training

Lunch is not needed

Day 2

Tuesday, May 9, 2023
9:00 AM - 12:30 AM
Virtual Training

Lunch is not needed

Day 3

Wednesday, May 10, 2023
9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Sunol Wilderness Regional Preserve
Lunch will not be provided

Day 4

Thursday, May 11, 2023
9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Sunol Wilderness Regional Preserve
Lunch will not be provided

COST: $320.00
Payable by check to Elkhorn Slough Foundation
Payable by credit card (online)


Instructor Information

Marcia Grefsrud
Environmental Scientist
California Department of Fish & Wildlife

Dr. Sarah Kupferberg
Independent Scholar and Consulting Ecologist

Dr. Ryan Peek
Aquatic Ecologist
California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Alan Striegle
San Francisco Public Utilities Commission


Grant Lyon


California Department of Fish and WildlifeCalifornia Department of Fish and Wildlife

San Francisco Public Utilities CommissionSan Francisco Public Utilities Commission


See also: Foothill Yellow-Legged Frog, Habitat Restoration

The Elkhorn Slough Reserve’s Coastal Training Program (CTP), in partnership with East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD), San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC), and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), is offering a new hybrid workshop on the biology and conservation of Rana boylii, the Foothill Yellow-legged Frog (FYLF).


Dr. Ryan Peek (CDFW) will lead instruction. Dr. Peek’s dissertation focused on the conservation genetics of the foothill yellow-legged frog, and he has been actively involved in range-wide conservation and management efforts for several critical amphibian species. He will be joined in instruction by Marcia Grefsrud (CDFW), Alan Striegle (SFPUC), and Dr. Sarah Kupferberg.


Workshop lectures will be offered virtually and the field trip will be at the Sunol Wilderness Regional Preserve (EBRPD). Lecture content will cover identification; life history; population ecology; threats and conservation; sampling methodologies and monitoring; listing status and management; and more (see below). The field portion of the workshop will include training on habitat assessment and survey techniques, as well as in situ discussions of management issues. We anticipate that participants will be able to observe multiple life stages and behaviors of FYLF along Alameda Creek in the Sunol Wilderness Regional Preserve. Workshop participants will not be individually handling animals to minimize impacts on the local population and meet permitting requirements.


Workshop Format

The workshop fee includes virtual lectures from 9am-12:30pm (subject to change), on Thursday, May 4 and Tuesday, May 9th and ONE of two field sessions, 9am-1pm (subject to change) on Wednesday, May 10th or Thursday, May 11th. After you register, please email grant@elkhornslough.org with your preference of field session.

The field sessions will take place in Alameda Creek, at the Sunol Wilderness Regional Preserve, 6 miles southeast of Calaveras Road exit on Hwy 680.

There will be a number of virtual-only lecture spots available at a reduced cost ($210). If you are interested in a lecture only spot, please email grant@elkhornslough.org instead of registering here.


Workshop Objectives


To increase participant understanding of

  • the biology of Rana boylii;
  • the latest research on the species;
  • habitat management for the species, and;
  • how to apply information in conservation planning efforts


Improve these participant skills

  • species identification;
  • aquatic habitat sampling techniques, and;
  • stream site assessment


Topics Addressed


  • Rana boylii life history and natural history, breeding, rearing and adult habitat requirement
  • Basic genetics and evolutionary history of Rana boylii
  • Instruction on how to identify all stages of Rana boylii
  • Recommended sampling methods and seasons for detecting different life history stages - specifically detailing CDFW sampling guidance
  • Permitting requirements for work with Rana boylii
  • Interactions of Rana boylii with other species
  • Demography and population dynamics of Rana boylii
  • Risk Factors associated with Rana boylii decline
  • Habitat restoration and reintroduction efforts
  • Frog friendly in-stream flow management and discussion  of minimization measures that limit impacts of in-stream construction projects


Field Training Practicum


Participants will receive skills-based training in species identification, visual encounter survey, time-constrained, and area-constrained survey techniques. Ryan, Alan, and Marcia will lead participants on walks through stream reaches with varying densities of FYLFs to compare habitat attributes and risk factors affecting the frogs.


***Important information***


It is important to note that no component of this workshop should be construed to apply to attendees’ ability to obtain permits related to the FYLF; if you are interested in how workshop activities might be used for permitting, you are encouraged to contact your agency permitting representative.


Registration details


Please note - you can pre-register via this website, but your registration will not be finalized until we receive your registration fee of $320. A number of discounted registrations may be available for students and professionals in particular need of this workshop who have limited ability to cover the expense (contact coastaltraining@elkhornslough.org to inquire). Payment can be either in the form of a credit card or a check made payable to the Elkhorn Slough Foundation and sent to:


Elkhorn Slough Foundation

ATTN: Coastal Training Program

1700 Elkhorn Road

Watsonville, CA 95076


Deadline for payment is 5 pm, Tuesday, April 18, 2023.  If we have not received your payment at that time, your place may be forfeit to someone on our waiting list. 

We will refund cancellations prior to April 18 minus a $50 processing fee; we cannot refund any fees after that date. We reserve the right to cancel the workshop prior to April 20, 2023; in that event, we will give full refunds.

We ask you not to cancel after the registration deadline; if you sign up, especially for the field trip, please show up so as to not waste a valuable workshop space. Repeated failure to adhere to these policies will likely jeopardize a person’s future ability to enroll in our programs.

We generally do not allow third-party registrations – register only yourself!  Registration is email sensitive; registering others frequently results in cancellation, missed communications, and other issues.

Because larger, wealthier organizations have in the past reserved large blocks of seats, excluding others from attending, only to cancel those reservations, we do not allow registration 'trading,' even to persons within the same organization.

Documents and Publications

Contact List
We encourage participants to download the contact list to assist with arranging a rideshare or to get in contact with someone you met at the workshop. Those interested in sharing a ride to the event are marked on the contact list.

Important Guidelines and Preparatory Info for FYLF Field Session
Dan Brumbaugh
Elkhorn Slough Coastal Training Program
April 2023

Questions and Answers

Submit a question on this subject and we'll provide an answer. coastaltraining@elkhornslough.org