Lithobates kauffeldi - Feinberg, Newman, Watkins-Colwell, Schlesinger, Zarate, Curry, Shaffer, and Burger, 2014
Atlantic Coast Leopard Frog
Synonym(s): Rana kauffeldi Feinberg, Newman, Watkins-Colwell, Schlesinger, Zarate, Curry, Shaffer, and Burger, 2014
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.941975
Element Code: AAABH01400
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)
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Feinberg J. A., C. E. Newman, G. J. Watkins-Colwell, M. D. Schlesinger, B. Zarate, B. R. Curry, H. B. Shaffer, and J. Burger. 2014. Cryptic diversity in metropolis: confirmation of a new leopard frog species (Anura: Ranidae) from New York City and surrounding Atlantic coast regions. PLoS ONE 9(10): e108213. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0108213
Concept Reference Code: A14FEI01NAUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Rana kauffeldi
Taxonomic Comments: Based on bioacoustic and molecular data, Feinberg et al. (2014) determined that populations of leopard frog from the New York City metropolitan area and surrounding coastal regions are genetically distinct from all other regionally occurring spotted ranid frogs (Rana sphenocephala, R. pipiens, and R. palustris). R. kauffeldi was generally included within the range of R. sphenocephala prior to its discovery, but northern mainland populations from northeastern Pennsylvania to central Connecticut may have been included within R. pipiens instead.

Feinberg et al. (2014) followed the conservative taxonomic practice of continuing to use Rana versus Lithobates for all North American ranid frogs, including the R. pipiens complex.
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G3G4
Global Status Last Reviewed: 07Jul2015
Global Status Last Changed: 07Jul2015
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by calculator
Rounded Global Status: G3 - Vulnerable
Reasons: Relatively small range in northeastern United States; recently recognized as a distinct species; fairly large number of subpopulations and locations; locally common; apparently extirpated or reduced in area of occupancy and abundance in significant portions of historical range; now probably relatively stable or slowly declining; threats include habitat alteration and possibly invasive plant species and other factors.
Nation: United States
National Status: NNR

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Connecticut (SNR), New Jersey (SNR), New York (S1S2), North Carolina (SU), Pennsylvania (S1)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: 20,000-200,000 square km (about 8000-80,000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: Range extends at least from central and southwestern Connecticut westward through the New York City metropolitan region and southward to New Jersey and (based on bioacoustic data) likely also eastern Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, eastern Virginia, and northeastern North Carolina (Feinberg et al. 2014). Populations in the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area tend to be disjunct and isolated from one another and often occur in highly fragmented landscapes with limited connectivity or dispersal opportunities (Feinberg et al. 2014). Lithobates sphenocephalus occurs near the range of L. kauffeldi in North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and southern New Jersey; L. pipiens occurs near the range of L. kauffeldi in Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, and possibly Massachusetts and Rhode Island (Feinberg et al. 2014).

Number of Occurrences: 21 - 300
Number of Occurrences Comments: The number of distinct occurrences (subpopulations) has not been determined using standardized criteria but certainly exceeds 20.

Population Size: 10,000 - 100,000 individuals
Population Size Comments: Total adult population size is unknown but presumably exceeds 10,000. This species tends to be abundant where it occurs (Feinberg et al. 2014).

Overall Threat Impact: Medium
Overall Threat Impact Comments: Primary threats likely include habitat loss and degradation caused by urbanization, agricultural activities, water management (e.g., flood control, damming of wetlands for fishery purposes), and forest expansion (and resulting shading of breeding sites; Feinberg et al. 2014). Climatic events (e.g., rising sea levels, increased storm frequencies and intensities) may alter coastlines and threaten proximate low-lying freshwater wetlands and any amphibian populations therein with potentially harmful saline inundation (Feinberg et al. 2014). Expansion of non-native populations of common reed (Phragmites) may degrade or eliminate breeding sites. Potential threats posed by disease and contaminants are unknown.

Short-term Trend: Decline of <30% to relatively stable
Short-term Trend Comments: Trend over the past 10 years or 3 generations is uncertain, but distribution and abundance probably were relatively stable or slowly declined.

Long-term Trend: Decline of 10-50%
Long-term Trend Comments: Long-term trend is not precisely known, but distribution and abundance probably have declined by a moderate degree that might exceed 30 percent. Historical populations in coastal New York and southern Connecticut may be extiprated (Feinberg et al. 2014), and various populations elsewhere likely have been eliminated or reduced through habitat alterations and other human activities.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: (20,000-200,000 square km (about 8000-80,000 square miles)) Range extends at least from central and southwestern Connecticut westward through the New York City metropolitan region and southward to New Jersey and (based on bioacoustic data) likely also eastern Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, eastern Virginia, and northeastern North Carolina (Feinberg et al. 2014). Populations in the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area tend to be disjunct and isolated from one another and often occur in highly fragmented landscapes with limited connectivity or dispersal opportunities (Feinberg et al. 2014). Lithobates sphenocephalus occurs near the range of L. kauffeldi in North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and southern New Jersey; L. pipiens occurs near the range of L. kauffeldi in Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, and possibly Massachusetts and Rhode Island (Feinberg et al. 2014).

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
Endemism: endemic to a single nation

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States CT, NC, NJ, NY, PA

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
NY Orange (36071), Putnam (36079), Richmond (36085), Suffolk (36103)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
02 Hudson-Wappinger (02020008)+, Lower Hudson (02030101)+, Sandy Hook-Staten Island (02030104)+, Southern Long Island (02030202)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Habitat Type: Freshwater
Non-Migrant: N
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Riverine Habitat(s): CREEK, Low gradient, MEDIUM RIVER
Lacustrine Habitat(s): Shallow water
Palustrine Habitat(s): HERBACEOUS WETLAND
Habitat Comments: Lithobates kauffeldi tends to inhabit large wetland areas, such as marshes, wet meadows, or slow-flowing water. Its habitat usually includes clear, shallow water. The species lives in or around open, vegetated spaces as well, with such plants as cattails, reeds, or river shrubs.
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Delineation Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 07Jul2015
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: 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
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  • Feinberg J. A., C. E. Newman, G. J. Watkins-Colwell, M. D. Schlesinger, B. Zarate, B. R. Curry, H. B. Shaffer, and J. Burger. 2014. Cryptic diversity in metropolis: confirmation of a new leopard frog species (Anura: Ranidae) from New York City and surrounding Atlantic coast regions. PLoS ONE 9(10): e108213. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0108213

  • Frost, D. 2014. Amphibian Species of the World: an Online Reference. Version 6.0. Electronic Database accessible at http://research.amnh.org/herpetology/amphibia/index.html. American Museum of Natural History, New York, USA.

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