Utah wildlife officials are alarmed over the presence of American bullfrogs. Acting on a tip from a golfer, biologists confirmed the frogs were in a pond at Roosevelt Golf Course. They have moved elsewhere in the Uinta Basin in eastern Utah, 150 miles east of Salt Lake City.
"One of our biologists recently found one in the Uinta Mountains, just inside the national Forest Service boundary," said Trina Hedrick of the Division of Wildlife Resources. "This isn't good news."
The American bullfrog is native to the eastern U.S. It is illegal to possess or transport one in Utah, Hedrick said Thursday.
"Bullfrogs are voracious predators," she said in a statement. "They'll eat almost anything, including snakes, worms, insects, crustaceans, fish, frogs, toads and salamanders."
Small mammals could be turned into a meal, too.
"Moving just two bullfrogs could expand their range and increase the risks to our native species," Hedrick said.
The bullfrogs have contributed to the decline of the leopard frog in Arizona and other frogs, toads and salamanders in California, Hedrick said.
They can live as long as nine years, longer in captivity, she said.