Lithobates chiricahuensis - (Platz and Mecham, 1979)
Chiricahua Leopard Frog
Synonym(s): Rana chiricahuensis Platz and Mecham, 1979 ;Rana subaquavocalis Platz, 1993
Taxonomic Status: Not accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Lithobates chiricahuensis (Platz and Mecham, 1979) (TSN 775086)
Spanish Common Names: Rana-de Chiricahua
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.105648
Element Code: AAABH01080
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Amphibians - Frogs and Toads
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Amphibia Anura Ranidae Lithobates
Genus Size: D - Medium to large genus (21+ species)
Check this box to expand all report sections:
Concept Reference
Help
Concept Reference: Frost, D. R. 1985. Amphibian species of the world. A taxonomic and geographical reference. Allen Press, Inc., and The Association of Systematics Collections, Lawrence, Kansas. v + 732 pp.
Concept Reference Code: B85FRO01HQUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Rana chiricahuensis
Taxonomic Comments: This nonstandard taxon is retained for programs not following Hekkala et al. (2011). Based on mitochondrial and nuclear DNA data, some ffrom centiry-old museum specimens, Hekkala et al. (2011) determined that populations of L. chiricahuensis from the Mogollon Rim in central and east-central Arizona and adjacent western New Mexico actually represent L. fisheri, previously regarded to be extinct and restricted to southern Nevada.
Conservation Status
Help

NatureServe Status

Global Status: G2G3
Global Status Last Reviewed: 21Dec2009
Global Status Last Changed: 21Nov2001
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by inspection
Rounded Global Status: G2 - Imperiled
Reasons: Range extends from Arizona and New Mexico into Mexico; range is smaller than previously known, with reallocation of some populations (central Arizona to portions of southwestern New Mexico) to L. fisheri; formerly declining in the U.S., due primarily to effects of habitat loss and degradation, introduced species, and disease; now stabilized and improving, though still facing threats from disease, non-native species, and drought; trend and status in Mexico are poorly known.
Nation: United States
National Status: N2N3 (01Sep2013)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
United States Arizona (S2)

Other Statuses

U.S. Endangered Species Act (USESA): LT: Listed threatened (13Jun2002)
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Lead Region: R2 - Southwest
IUCN Red List Category: VU - Vulnerable

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: 20,000-200,000 square km (about 8000-80,000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: This species occurs from southeastern Arizona (drainages of the Madrean Archipelago and surrounding desert grasslands, south of the Gila River in Cochise, Santa Cruz, Pima, and Graham counties) and extreme southwestern New Mexico (Hidalgo County) in the United States, south along the eastern slope of the Sierra Madre Occidental in Sonora and Chihuahua, Mexico, where the southern range limit is poorly defined due to taxonomic uncertainties. Also included in L. chiricahuensis are additional populations in the upper Gila River drainage in extreme eastern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico, whereas populations previously ascribed to L. chiricahuensis in central Arizona and westward along the Mogollon Rim to portion of southwestern New Mexico have been determined through DNA evidence to be L. fisheri, previously thought to be extinct and limited to southern Nevada (Hekkala et al. 2011). Elevational range extends from about 1,000 to 2,710 meters.

The frog formerly known as Rana subaquavocalis is known from areas within a 10-km radius in the Huachuca Mountains; current known range is limited to aquatic habitats in Tinker, Brown, Ramsey, and Miller canyons and several residential ponds in the area, Cochise County, Arizona (Platz 1993, Platz and Grudzien 1993, Platz et al. 1997, Arizona Game and Fish Department 2001, Platz and Grudzien 2003). It currently exists in several canyons on the east side of the Huachuca Mountains (Goldberg et al. 2004) and ranges in elevation from 4,925 to 6,001 ft. (1502 - 1830 m) (Sredl et al. 1997).

Area of Occupancy: 26-125 4-km2 grid cells
Area of Occupancy Comments: Area of occupoancy in the United States is encompassed by somewhat fewer than a few dozen grid cells (2 km x 2 km) (see maps in USFWS 2012). Area of occupancy in Mexico is uncertain but perhaps smaller than in the United States.

Number of Occurrences: 21 - 80
Number of Occurrences Comments: USFWS (2012) reported that there are 33 known breeding populations in Arizona and 20-23 in New Mexico (some of these are now identified as L. fisheri; Hekkala et al. 2011). These represent about 131-133 sites with extant populations (USFWS 2011). This species is represented by somewhat fewer than a few dozen occupied critical habitat units (USFWS 2012), each of which could be regarded as constituting a population or metapopulation.

Including northern montane populations, the species is known historically from 231 locations in Arizona, 182 sites in New Mexico, and about a dozen sites in Mexico (USFWS 2002), though some of these now are allocated to Lithobates fisheri (Hekkala et al. 2011).

The frog formerly known as Rana subaquavocalis is extant at four sites, with regular successful breeding occurring at two sites (Platz et al. 1997). Known number of breeding sites has been reduced to one (E. Wallace, pers. comm., cited by Platz and Grudzien 2003). Through intensive conservation actions, including translocations, this frog is currently found in five canyons on the east side of the Huachuca Mountains (Goldberg et al. 2004).

Population Size: 2500 - 100,000 individuals
Population Size Comments: Total adult population size is unknown but likely is at least a few thousand . Local abundance appears to fluctuate greatly. Populations in stock tanks generally include fewer than 100 individuals.

"Rana subaquavocalis:" As of the mid-1990s, the total number of adults at the two known breeding sites was not more than 120 (1994 End. Sp. Tech. Bull. 19(5):18). In 1995, population was augmented by the release of captive-reared juveniles. Through September 1995, there were 19 individuals in the concrete pond in Ramsey Canyon (H. Riley, pers. comm., cited by Platz and Grudzien 2003), but none were observed there in the summer of 1996 (Platz and Grudzien 2003). Since then, and despite reintroduction efforts, no breeding activity has been observed at the concrete pond in Ramsey Canyon (Platz and Grudzien 2003). In 1997, the total adult population probably was less than 100 (Platz et al. 1997). No population estimate for any site has exceeded 50 adults (Platz and Grudzien 2003).

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Few to some (4-40)
Viability/Integrity Comments: Where still present, populations are often small, widely scattered, and occupy marginal and dynamic habitats (USFWS 2002).

At least a few relatively robust populations and metapopulations still exist (USFWS 2002, 2012).

Overall Threat Impact: High - medium
Overall Threat Impact Comments: USFWS (2012) determined that the most significant threats to the Chiricahua leopard frog include the effects of the disease chytridiomycosis, which has been associated with major die-offs in some populations of Chiricahua leopard frogs, predation by nonnative species (e.g., centrarchids, bullfrogs, tiger salamanders, crayfish; USFWS 2000, 2002), and drought (though some sites are buffered from the effects of drought by wells or other anthropogenic water supplies; USFWS 2011). Additional factors affecting the species include degradation and loss of habitat as a result of water diversions and largescale groundwater pumping, livestock management practices (such that grazing is not in accordance with approved allotment management plans or otherwise considered adverse to maintaining natural habitat characteristics), altered fire regimes due to fire suppression, mining, contaminants, agricultural development, and other human activities; and inadequate regulatory mechanisms regarding introduction of nonnative bait species (USFWS 2012). It is unclear how ongoing climate change will affect this species (USFWS 2011).

Although progress has been made to secure some existing populations and establish new populations , the status of the species continues to be affected by threats such that the species is likely to become endangered within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its range (USFWS 2012). Due primarily to ongoing conservation measures and the existence of relatively robust populations and metapopulations, USFWS (2012) determined that the species is not in immediate danger of extinction (i.e., on the brink of extinction). However, present threats (such as chytrid fungus and nonnative predators spreading and increasing in prevalence and range, and affecting more populations of the leopard frog) are likely to continue in the future (USFWS 2012),


The following refers to the frog formerly known as Rana subaquavocalis:

Elimination of beavers, which create favorable habitat, and diversion of water for irrigation, likely contributed to the decline of populations that may have existed in the San Pedro River (about 8 km east of Ramsey Canyon) (Platz and Grudzien 2003).

Threats include natural flooding (which could destroy or degrade breeding sites), and exotic competitors (e.g., bullfrog), predators, or pathogens. The few, small populations in a dynamic environment make the species particularly vulnerable to extinction. The Ramsey Canyon and Brown Canyon populations probably are isolated and may not function as part of a single metapopulation.

In early summer of 1996, a severe drought caused the Barchas Ranch duck pond to dry out, eliminating it as suitable breeding habitat (Platz and Grudzien 2003). In 2000, a dead frog in Ramsey Canyon was documented to have a chytrid fungal infection (M. Sredl, pers. comm., cited by Platz and Grudzien 2003). At two sites, Tinker Pond and Ramsey Canyon, chytrid fungus has been found in dead frogs (Arizona Game and Fish Department 2001). This fungus has been implicated in the declines of amphibians around the world (Berger et al. 1998) and may play a role in the decline of R. subaquavocalis.

Extirpation of two populations was associated with low levels of heterozygosity (Platz and Grudzien 2003).

Short-term Trend: Relatively Stable (<=10% change)
Short-term Trend Comments: Overall in the United States, the status of the Chiricahua leopard frog is improving, whereas the status and trends for the species are unknown in Mexico (USFWS 2012). A recovery program is underway in the United States, and reestablishment of populations, creation of refugial populations, and habitat enhancement and creation have helped stabilize or improve the status of the species in some areas (USFWS 2012). USFWS (2011) concluded that the Chiricahua leopard frog is at least stable and probably improving in Arizona, declining in New Mexico, and of unknown status in Mexico

Populations of the frog formerly known as Rana subaquavocalis appear to be declining, and recruitment is low at all known localities except for Miller Canyon. Population at Ramsey Canyon declined greatly in the 1990s (Platz et al. 1997); no recent breeding there, and a breeding population on the Barchas Ranch was extirpated in the 1990s (Platz and Grudzien 2003). Platz (1997) examined survey data collected between 1990 and 1995 from Ramsey Canyon and noted a decline in the population from over 90 individuals in 1990 to 19 in 1995.

Some of the subaquavocalis translocation sites have been quite successful, as indicated by increasing numbers of adults encountered and evidence of successful reproduction. he animals released in Miller Canyon in 1999 produced at least 28 egg masses in 2000, and the population appears to be doing well (Arizona Game and Fish Department 2001). Other sites have not been successful.

Long-term Trend: Decline of 50-80%
Long-term Trend Comments: Now absent from many historical localities and numerous mountain ranges, valleys, and drainages within former range (USFWS 2002); has undergone regional extirpation where formerly well distributed (USFWS 2002); including populations now allocated to L. fisheri, these frgs are absent from 75% of historical range (USFWS 2002), though subsequently a couple dozen populations have been reestablished, and populations exist also in recently established refugia (USFWS 2011). Where still present, populations often are few, small, and widely scattered (USFWS 2000). Possibly some disappearances from historical sites represent natural fluctuations rather than long-term declines caused by human impacts, but in most areas disappearances appear to reflect real, on-going declines (USFWS 2000, 2002). Status unknown in Sonora (A. Villarreal L., pers. comm., 1997).

Intrinsic Vulnerability: Moderately vulnerable

Environmental Specificity: Moderate to broad.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Inventory Needs: Populations in southeastern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico are well surveyed; further survey work is needed in Mexico (USFWS 2000).

Distribution
Help
Global Range: (20,000-200,000 square km (about 8000-80,000 square miles)) This species occurs from southeastern Arizona (drainages of the Madrean Archipelago and surrounding desert grasslands, south of the Gila River in Cochise, Santa Cruz, Pima, and Graham counties) and extreme southwestern New Mexico (Hidalgo County) in the United States, south along the eastern slope of the Sierra Madre Occidental in Sonora and Chihuahua, Mexico, where the southern range limit is poorly defined due to taxonomic uncertainties. Also included in L. chiricahuensis are additional populations in the upper Gila River drainage in extreme eastern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico, whereas populations previously ascribed to L. chiricahuensis in central Arizona and westward along the Mogollon Rim to portion of southwestern New Mexico have been determined through DNA evidence to be L. fisheri, previously thought to be extinct and limited to southern Nevada (Hekkala et al. 2011). Elevational range extends from about 1,000 to 2,710 meters.

The frog formerly known as Rana subaquavocalis is known from areas within a 10-km radius in the Huachuca Mountains; current known range is limited to aquatic habitats in Tinker, Brown, Ramsey, and Miller canyons and several residential ponds in the area, Cochise County, Arizona (Platz 1993, Platz and Grudzien 1993, Platz et al. 1997, Arizona Game and Fish Department 2001, Platz and Grudzien 2003). It currently exists in several canyons on the east side of the Huachuca Mountains (Goldberg et al. 2004) and ranges in elevation from 4,925 to 6,001 ft. (1502 - 1830 m) (Sredl et al. 1997).

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces
Color legend for Distribution Map
Endemism: occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AZ

Range Map
Note: Range depicted for New World only. The scale of the maps may cause narrow coastal ranges or ranges on small islands not to appear. Not all vagrant or small disjunct occurrences are depicted. For migratory birds, some individuals occur outside of the passage migrant range depicted. For information on how to obtain shapefiles of species ranges see our Species Mapping pages at www.natureserve.org/conservation-tools/data-maps-tools.

Range Map Compilers: IUCN, Conservation International, NatureServe, and collaborators, 2004


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
AZ Apache (04001), Cochise (04003), Coconino (04005), Gila (04007), Graham (04009), Greenlee (04011), Maricopa (04013), Navajo (04017), Pima (04019), Santa Cruz (04023), Yavapai (04025)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
15 Little Colorado headwaters (15020001)+, Upper Little Colorado (15020002)+, Silver (15020005)+, Middle Little Colorado (15020008)+*, Chevelon Canyon (15020010)+*, San Francisco (15040004)+, Upper Gila-San Carlos Reservoir (15040005)+, San Simon (15040006)+, San Carlos (15040007)+, Willcox Playa (15050201)+, Upper San Pedro (15050202)+, Lower San Pedro (15050203)+, Upper Santa Cruz (15050301)+, Rillito (15050302)+, Brawley Wash (15050304)+, Black (15060101)+, White (15060102)+, Upper Salt (15060103)+, Tonto (15060105)+, Lower Salt (15060106)+, Lower Verde (15060203)+, Rio De La Concepcion (15080200)+, Whitewater Draw (15080301)+, San Bernardino Valley (15080302)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
Help
Basic Description: A leopard frog.
Reproduction Comments: Eggs are laid mainly from February into October, with most masses found in the warmer months. Eggs hatch in 8-14 days, depending on water temperature. (USFWS 2007). Larval period lasts three to nine months, and tadpoles may overwinter. Males reach sexual maturity at 5.3-5.6 cm, a size they can attain in less than a year. Some individuals may live as long as 10 years. Source: USFWS (2007, 2011).

The following information refers to the frog formerly known as Rana subaquavocalis:

Males vocalize from at least mid -March through mid-July (Platz 1993). Egg masses have been recorded from mid-March through early October (AGFD, unpublished data). Mating seems to begin once water temperatures have reached at least 10 C (50 F), and oviposition may be correlated with temperatures rather than rainfall. Eggs hatch in about 14 days in the wild (Platz 1997). In captivity, eggs hatch in about 10 days when held at 23-25 C (73-77 F) (M. Demlong, unpublished data). Larvae metamorphose in the year they were oviposited or may overwinter as tadpoles (Platz and Grudzien 1993, Platz et al. 1997). Larvae metamorphose in as few as 100 days in captivity, but frequently take 160 to 200 days (M. Demlong, unpublished data). Platz (1997) suggested that sexual maturity is reached rather late in life, at approximately 6 years postmetamorphosis, but captive-reared frogs at the Phoenix Zoo and released in Miller Canyon produced egg masses one year after metamorphosis. Some individuals live at least 10 years after metamorphosis (Platz and Grudzien 1993, Platz et al. 1997). May have a lek breeding system, but further study is needed (Platz and Grudzien 1993).

Non-Migrant: N
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Mobility and Migration Comments: Although detailed study of movements has not been done, marked frogs have moved several hundred
meters within Ramsey Canyon (M. Sredl, unpublished data) (Arizona Game and Fish Department 2001).

Riverine Habitat(s): CREEK, Pool, SPRING/SPRING BROOK
Lacustrine Habitat(s): Shallow water
Palustrine Habitat(s): Riparian
Special Habitat Factors: Benthic, Fallen log/debris
Habitat Comments: Habitat includes montane and river valley cienegas, springs, pools, cattle tanks, lakes, reservoirs, streams, and rivers. The species requires permanent or semi-permanent pools for breeding (Jennings and Scott 1993; USFWS 2000, 2011).

The following information refers to the frog formerly known as Rana subaquavocalis:

Habitats are found in pine-oak, oak woodland, and semi-desert grassland areas of the Huachuca Mountains. Vegetation at sites is variable but includes horsetail (Equisetum spp.), spikerush (Eleocharis spp.), cattail (Typha spp.), watercress (Rorippa), monkey flower (Mimulus), and grasses. Emergent vegetation and root masses provide cover sites (M. Sredl unpublished data) (Arizona Game and Fish Department 2001). Most occupied habitats are modified or artificial aquatic systems (Sredl et al. 1997). Ponds, streams, plunge pools are occupied.

Adults and several tadpoles in upper Brown Canyon were found in a plunge pool (elev. 1675 m). Most of the frogs in Ramsey Canyon occupy a ground-level concrete tank (14 m X 14 m) approximately 1.3 m deep, fed by the natural stream adjacent to the tank; frogs also occur at various plunge pools along a 1000 m length of the stream, starting with plunge pools adjacent to the visitors' center and continuing above the tank population. Adults and larvae were observed at a small excavation in rock (a water pocket 2 m in diameter) 2 km below the entrance to Ramsey Canyon (Platz 1993). Occurs also in an earthen stock tank (Platz and Grudzien 1993). Males call while submerged, as may males of certain other RANA species.

Eggs are laid in spherical masses, attached to submerged vegetation, so that the egg mass is held near the surface of the water (Arizona Game and Fish Department 2001).

Adult Food Habits: Invertivore
Immature Food Habits: Herbivore
Food Comments: Adults mainly invertivorous. Larvae eat algae, organic debris, plant tissue, and minute organisms in water.
Phenology Comments: Inactive in cold temperatures.
Length: 14 centimeters
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
Help
Management Summary
Help
Stewardship Overview: USFWS (2011) reported the following: "Since before the species was listed, state, Federal, and private partners have been engaged in conservation and recovery work for the Chiricahua leopard frog. The first population reestablishments occurred in 1995 in Ramsey Canyon in southeastern Arizona, and recently the 10,000th Chiricahua leopard frog produced by the Phoenix Zoo was released into recovery unit 5. Since population reestablishments have begun, the frog has been introduced at 30 sites, of which frogs are still persisting at 23. Refugia have been established at 15 sites; they are still present at 11 of those. Furthermore, many existing populations have been augmented with headstarted tadpoles or metamorphic frogs, and in some cases wild-to-wild translocations of egg masses. Non-native predator control in the Altar Valley and in the Peņa Blanca regions of recovery unit 1 have allowed Chiricahua leopard frogs to recolonize, on their own, 13 or more sites. Elimination of bullfrogs and other non-native species have allowed persistence at a number of other sites. Habitat has been created or enhanced at numerous sites in all recovery units. These efforts have been most prevalent in Arizona, where the Arizona Game and Fish Department has had two or more employees dedicated to ranid frog conservation since before the species was listed, and numerous public and private partners exist."

Population and threats monitoring should be initiated in Sonora and Chihuahua, Mexico (USFWS 2011).

The most critical recovery needs for the Chiricahua leopard include: 1) protect remaining populations and habitats; 2) establish new populations in areas with minimal or manageable threats; 3) develop a comprehensive monitoring plan; 4) implement monitoring, particularly of extant populations and habitat conditions where the species occurs; 5) begin researching techniques to ameliorate the threats of disease and non-native predators; 6) work with partners, stakeholders, and technical experts to build support for the recovery effort and to facilitate implementation of recovery actions; 7) complete the range-wide genetics study; and 8) find funding and staff time to support the recovery program (USFWS, Spotlight Species Action Plan).

Biological Research Needs: Determine phylogenetic relationships among northern populations (Rana sp. 1) and southern populations (Jennings 1995). Determine habitat requirements and life history.
Population/Occurrence Delineation Not yet assessed
Help
Population/Occurrence Viability
Help
U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
Help
Authors/Contributors
Help
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 01Sep2013
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Hammerson, G.
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 01Sep2013
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): Hammerson, G.

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
Help
  • Anonymous. 1993. Postmetamorphic death syndrome. Froglog No. 7.

  • Arizona Game and Fish Department. 1992. Bufo retiformis. Unpublished abstract. 3 pp.

  • Arizona Game and Fish Department. 1996. Wildlife of special concern in Arizona (public review draft). Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Program, Phoenix, Arizona. 40 pp.

  • Arizona Game and Fish Department. 1996. Wildlife of special concern in Arizona (public review draft). Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Program. 40 pp.

  • Blackburn, L., P. Nanjappa, and M. J. Lannoo. 2001. An Atlas of the Distribution of U.S. Amphibians. Copyright, Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana, USA.

  • Bradley, G.A., Rosen, P.C., Sredl, M.J., Jones, T.R. and Longcore, J.E. 2002. Chytridiomycosis in native Arizona frogs. Journal of Wildlife Diseases. 38:206-212.

  • Clarkson W.R. and Rorabaugh, J.C. 1989. Status of leopard frogs (Rana pipiens complex:Ranidae) in Arizona and southeastern California. Southwestern Naturalist 34:531-538.

  • Clarkson, R. W., and J. C. Rorabauch. 1989. Status of leopard frogs (Rana pipiens complex: Ranidae) in Arizona and southeastern California. Southwest. Nat. 34:531-538.

  • Degenhardt, W. G., C. W. Painter, and A. H. Price. 1996. Amphibians and reptiles of New Mexico. University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque. xix + 431 pp.

  • Fernandez, P.J 1996. A facility for captive propagation of Chiricahua leopard frogs (Rana chiricahuensis). Herpetoculture. 7-12. International Herpetological Symposium.

  • Frost, D. R. 1985. Amphibian species of the world. A taxonomic and geographical reference. Allen Press, Inc., and The Association of Systematics Collections, Lawrence, Kansas. v + 732 pp.

  • Frost, D. R. 2002. Amphibian Species of the World: an online reference. V2.21 (15 July 2002). Electronic database available at http://research.amnh.org/herpetology/amphibia/index.html.

  • Frost, D. R. 2009. Amphibian Species of the World: an Online Reference. Version 5.3 (12 February 2009). Electronic Database accessible at http://research.amnh.org/herpetology/amphibia/index.php. American Museum of Natural History, New York, USA.

  • Frost, D. R. 2010. Amphibian Species of the World: an Online Reference. Version 5.4 (8 April 2010). Electronic Database accessible at http://research.amnh.org/herpetology/amphibia/index.php. American Museum of Natural History, New York, USA.

  • Frost, D.R., et al., 2006. The Amphibian Tree of Life. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History no. 297: 1-370. [15 Mar 2006]

  • Frost, J. S., and J. E. Platz. 1983. Comparative assessment of modes of reproductive isolation among four species of leopard frogs (Rana pipiens complex). Evolution 37:66-78.

  • Frost, J. S., and J. T. Bagnara. 1977. Sympatry between Rana blairi and the southern form of leopard frog in southeastern Arizona (Anura: Ranidae). Southwestern Naturalist 22:443-453.

  • Goldberg, C.S., Field, K.J. and Sredl, M.J. 2003. Ramsey Canyon leopard frog identity crisis: mitochondrial DNA analyses support designation as Chiricahua leopard frog. Arizona Game and Fish Department, Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Program Technical Report 218. Phoenix, Arizona.

  • Green, D. M., and D. M. Delisle. 1985. Allotriploidy in natural hybrid frogs, Rana chiricahuensis x R. pipiens, from Arizona: chromosomes and electrophoretic evidence. Journal of Herpetology 19:385-390.

  • Hekkala, E. R., R. A. Saummure, J. R. Jaeger, H.-W. Herrmann, M. J. Sredl, D. F. Bradford, D. Drabeck, and M. J. Blum. 2011. Resurrecting an extinct species: archival DNA, taxonomy, and conservation of the Vegas Valley leopard frog. Conservation Genetics 12:1379-1385.

  • Hillis, D.M. 1988. Systematics of the Rana pipiens complex: puzzle and paradigm. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics. 19:39-63.

  • Hillis, D.M., Frost, J.S. and Wright, D.A. 1983. Phylogeny and biogeography of the Rana pipiens complex: a biochemical evaluation. Systematic Zoology. 32:132-143.

  • Jennings, R. D. 1995. Investigations of recently viable leopard frog populations in New Mexico: Rana chiricahuensis and Rana yavapaiensis. Report submitted to New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, Endangered Species Program, Santa Fe, New Mexico. 36 pp.

  • Jennings, R. D., and N. J. Scott, Jr. 1993. Ecologically correlated morphological variation in tadpoles of the leopard frog, Rana chiricahuensis. Journal of Herpetology 27:285-293.

  • Jennings, R.D ND. Activity and reproductive phenologies and their ecological correlates among populations of the Chiricahua leopard frog, Rana chiricahuensis. Unpublished report for New Mexico Department of Game and Fish Santa Fe, New Mexico.

  • Jennings, R.D. 1988. Ecological studies of the Chiricahua leopard frog, Rana chiricahuensis, in New Mexico. Report to Share with Wildlife, New Mexico Department of Game and Fish. Santa Fe, New Mexico.

  • Mecham, J.S. 1968. Evidence of reproductive isolation between two populations of the frog, Rana pipiens, in Arizona. Southwestern Naturalist. 13:35-44.

  • New Mexico Department of Game and Fish. 1996. October 1-last update. Fish and Wildlife Information Exchange-VA Tech. Online. Available: http//www.fw.vt.edu/fishex/nm.html. Accessed 1997, April 8.

  • Platz, J. E. 1993. Rana subaquavocalis, a remarkable new species of leopard frog (Rana pipiens complex) from southeastern Arizona that calls under water. Journal of Herpetology 27:154-62.

  • Platz, J. E. and J. S. Mecham. 1979. Rana chiricahuensis, a new species of leopard frog (Rana pipiens complex) from Arizona. Copeia 1979:383-90.

  • Platz, J.E. and Mecham, J.S. 1984. Rana chiricahuensis. Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles. 347:1-2.

  • Rosen, P.C., Schwalbe, C.R., Parizek, D.A.J., Holm, P.A. and Lowe, C.H. 1995. Introduced aquatic vertebrates in the Chiricahua region: effects on declining ranid frogs. Biodiversity and management of the Madrean Archipelago: the sky islands of southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico. DeBano, L.F., Gottfried, G.J., Hamre, R.H. and Edmi, C.B.,editor. Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experimental Station. Fort Collins, Colorado.

  • Schwalbe, C. R. 1993. Status of amphibians in Arizona. Park Science 13(4):10.

  • Scott, N.J. and R.D. Jennings 1985. The tadpoles of five species of New Mexican leopard frogs. Occasional papers the Museum of Southwest Biology. No. 3, Dec. 9, 1985. 21 pp.

  • Sredl, M. 1993. Global amphibian decline: have Arizona's amphibians been affected? Sonoran Herpetologist 6(2):14-21.

  • Sredl, M. J., J. M. Howland, J. E. Wallace, and L. S. Saylor. 1997a. Status and distribution of Arizona's native ranid frogs. Pages 37-89 in M. J. Sredl, editor. Ranid frog conservation and management. Arizona Game and Fish Department, Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Program, Technical Report 121.

  • Sredl, M.J. and Jennings, R.D. In press Rana chiricahuensis (Platz and Mecham, 1979) Chiricahua Leopard Frogs. Status and Conservation of U.S. Amphibians. Volume 2: Species Accounts. Lannoo, M.J.,editor. University of California Press. Berkeley, California.

  • Sredl, M.J. and Saylor, L.S. 1998. Conservation and Management Zones and the role of earthen cattle tanks in conserving Arizona leopard frogs on large landscapes. Environmental, Economic, and Legal Issues Related to Rangeland Water Developments. Feller, J.M. and Strouse, D.S.,editor. 211-225. The Center for the Study of Law, Science and Technology, Arizona State University. Tempe, Arizona.

  • Stebbins, R. C. 1985a. A field guide to western reptiles and amphibians. Second edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, Massachusetts. xiv + 336 pp.

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). 13 June 2002. Listing of the Chiricahua leopard frog (Rana chiricahuensis). Federal Register 67(114):40790-40811.

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). 14 June 2000. Proposal to list the Chiricahua leopard frog as threatened with a special rule. Federal Register 65:37343-37357.

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). 20 March 2012. Listing and designation of critical habitat for the Chiricahua leopard frog. Federal Register 77(54):16324-16424,

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). 2007. Chiricahua leopard frog (Rana chiricahuensis) recovery plan. Region 2, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Albuquerque, NM. 429 pp.

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). 2011. Chiricahua leopard frog (Lithobates [=Rana] chiricahuensis) 5 year review: summary and evaluation. USFWS, Arizona Ecological Services Office, Phoenix, Arizona.

  • Wood, T. 1991. Results of 1991 amphibian monitoring on the Coronado National Forest. The Nature Conservancy and U.S. Forest Service.

Use Guidelines & Citation

Use Guidelines and Citation

The Small Print: Trademark, Copyright, Citation Guidelines, Restrictions on Use, and Information Disclaimer.

Note: All species and ecological community data presented in NatureServe Explorer at http://explorer.natureserve.org were updated to be current with NatureServe's central databases as of November 2016.
Note: This report was printed on

Trademark Notice: "NatureServe", NatureServe Explorer, The NatureServe logo, and all other names of NatureServe programs referenced herein are trademarks of NatureServe. Any other product or company names mentioned herein are the trademarks of their respective owners.

Copyright Notice: Copyright © 2017 NatureServe, 4600 N. Fairfax Dr., 7th Floor, Arlington Virginia 22203, U.S.A. All Rights Reserved. Each document delivered from this server or web site may contain other proprietary notices and copyright information relating to that document. The following citation should be used in any published materials which reference the web site.

Citation for data on website including State Distribution, Watershed, and Reptile Range maps:
NatureServe. 2017. NatureServe Explorer: An online encyclopedia of life [web application]. Version 7.1. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia. Available http://explorer.natureserve.org. (Accessed:

Citation for Bird Range Maps of North America:
Ridgely, R.S., T.F. Allnutt, T. Brooks, D.K. McNicol, D.W. Mehlman, B.E. Young, and J.R. Zook. 2003. Digital Distribution Maps of the Birds of the Western Hemisphere, version 1.0. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Acknowledgement Statement for Bird Range Maps of North America:
"Data provided by NatureServe in collaboration with Robert Ridgely, James Zook, The Nature Conservancy - Migratory Bird Program, Conservation International - CABS, World Wildlife Fund - US, and Environment Canada - WILDSPACE."

Citation for Mammal Range Maps of North America:
Patterson, B.D., G. Ceballos, W. Sechrest, M.F. Tognelli, T. Brooks, L. Luna, P. Ortega, I. Salazar, and B.E. Young. 2003. Digital Distribution Maps of the Mammals of the Western Hemisphere, version 1.0. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Acknowledgement Statement for Mammal Range Maps of North America:
"Data provided by NatureServe in collaboration with Bruce Patterson, Wes Sechrest, Marcelo Tognelli, Gerardo Ceballos, The Nature Conservancy-Migratory Bird Program, Conservation International-CABS, World Wildlife Fund-US, and Environment Canada-WILDSPACE."

Citation for Amphibian Range Maps of the Western Hemisphere:
IUCN, Conservation International, and NatureServe. 2004. Global Amphibian Assessment. IUCN, Conservation International, and NatureServe, Washington, DC and Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Acknowledgement Statement for Amphibian Range Maps of the Western Hemisphere:
"Data developed as part of the Global Amphibian Assessment and provided by IUCN-World Conservation Union, Conservation International and NatureServe."

NOTE: Full metadata for the Bird Range Maps of North America is available at:
http://www.natureserve.org/library/birdDistributionmapsmetadatav1.pdf.

Full metadata for the Mammal Range Maps of North America is available at:
http://www.natureserve.org/library/mammalsDistributionmetadatav1.pdf.

Restrictions on Use: Permission to use, copy and distribute documents delivered from this server is hereby granted under the following conditions:
  1. The above copyright notice must appear in all copies;
  2. Any use of the documents available from this server must be for informational purposes only and in no instance for commercial purposes;
  3. Some data may be downloaded to files and altered in format for analytical purposes, however the data should still be referenced using the citation above;
  4. No graphics available from this server can be used, copied or distributed separate from the accompanying text. Any rights not expressly granted herein are reserved by NatureServe. Nothing contained herein shall be construed as conferring by implication, estoppel, or otherwise any license or right under any trademark of NatureServe. No trademark owned by NatureServe may be used in advertising or promotion pertaining to the distribution of documents delivered from this server without specific advance permission from NatureServe. Except as expressly provided above, nothing contained herein shall be construed as conferring any license or right under any NatureServe copyright.
Information Warranty Disclaimer: All documents and related graphics provided by this server and any other documents which are referenced by or linked to this server are provided "as is" without warranty as to the currentness, completeness, or accuracy of any specific data. NatureServe hereby disclaims all warranties and conditions with regard to any documents provided by this server or any other documents which are referenced by or linked to this server, including but not limited to all implied warranties and conditions of merchantibility, fitness for a particular purpose, and non-infringement. NatureServe makes no representations about the suitability of the information delivered from this server or any other documents that are referenced to or linked to this server. In no event shall NatureServe be liable for any special, indirect, incidental, consequential damages, or for damages of any kind arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information contained in any documents provided by this server or in any other documents which are referenced by or linked to this server, under any theory of liability used. NatureServe may update or make changes to the documents provided by this server at any time without notice; however, NatureServe makes no commitment to update the information contained herein. Since the data in the central databases are continually being updated, it is advisable to refresh data retrieved at least once a year after its receipt. The data provided is for planning, assessment, and informational purposes. Site specific projects or activities should be reviewed for potential environmental impacts with appropriate regulatory agencies. If ground-disturbing activities are proposed on a site, the appropriate state natural heritage program(s) or conservation data center can be contacted for a site-specific review of the project area (see Visit Local Programs).

Feedback Request: NatureServe encourages users to let us know of any errors or significant omissions that you find in the data through (see Contact Us). Your comments will be very valuable in improving the overall quality of our databases for the benefit of all users.