Rana pretiosa - Baird and Girard, 1853
Oregon Spotted Frog
Other English Common Names: Oregon spotted frog
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Rana pretiosa Baird and Girard, 1853 (TSN 173458)
French Common Names: grenouille maculée de l'Oregon
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.101451
Element Code: AAABH01180
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Amphibians - Frogs and Toads
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Amphibia Anura Ranidae Rana
Genus Size: D - Medium to large genus (21+ species)
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Concept Reference
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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 pretiosa
Taxonomic Comments: Rana luteiventris and R. pretiosa formerly were regarded as conspecific. Green et al. (1996) examined allozyme and morphometric variation in R. pretiosa from 26 and 38 localities, respectively, and concluded that at least two species were represented, referred to as species A (southwestern Washington and Oregon Cascades) and species B (remainder of range). Morphometrically, the two species are "almost indistinguishable." The authors could not fully delineate the dividing line between the ranges of species A and species B. The two species were not assigned latin names because of a nomenclatural problem arising from the fact that specimens from the vicinity of the type series for R. pretiosa Baird and Girard could not be assigned to either species A or species B, and the type locality lies geographically between the known ranges of A and B.

Subsequently, Green et al. (1997) determined that frogs from the vicinity of the type locality of R. pretiosa are conspecific with the species residing in south-central Washington and and the Cascade Mountains of Oregon (species A). Hence, they concluded that populations from southwestern British Columbia, western Washington, western and central Oregon, and northeastern California are R. pretiosa (Oregon spotted frog) and that spotted frogs from the remainder of the range are another species for which the name Rana luteiventris (Columbia spotted frog) is applicable. This taxonomy has been widely accepted (e.g., Crother 2008, Collins and Taggart 2009, http://research.amnh.org/vz/herpetology/amphibia/).

Rana luteiventris was regarded as possibly comprising multiple weakly differentiated species.
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G2
Global Status Last Reviewed: 10Oct2013
Global Status Last Changed: 26Nov2001
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by calculator
Rounded Global Status: G2 - Imperiled
Reasons: Significant declines in distribution and abundance have occurred in much of the range (southwestern British Columbia to northeastern California); major threats are ongoing and include introduced predators, habitat loss/degradation, inadequate habitat size, and possibly disease and climate change.
Nation: United States
National Status: N2 (12Oct2010)
Nation: Canada
National Status: N1 (20Oct2016)

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 California (SH), Oregon (S1), Washington (S1)
Canada British Columbia (S1)

Other Statuses

U.S. Endangered Species Act (USESA): LT: Listed threatened (29Aug2014)
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Lead Region: R1 - Pacific
Canadian Species at Risk Act (SARA) Schedule 1/Annexe 1 Status: E (05Jun2003)
Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC): Endangered (06May2011)
Comments on COSEWIC: Reason for designation: This highly aquatic frog has a small Canadian distribution within the populated and highly modified Fraser River Basin in southwestern British Columbia. It currently occurs at four sites, isolated from one another, and has been extirpated from an additional three sites. One extant population is near extinction, and the remaining populations are small and vulnerable to disturbance and stochastic events. Habitat loss and fragmentation, hydrological alteration, disease, introduced predators, and poor water quality continue to threaten remnant populations.

Status history: Designated Endangered in an emergency assessment on 13 September 1999. Status re-examined and confirmed in May 2000 and in May 2011.

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: Range extends from southwestern British Columbia south through the eastern side of the Puget/Willamette Valley trough and the Columbia River gorge in south-central Washington to the Cascades Range at least to the Klamath Valley in Oregon (and at least formerly to northeastern California); the species is considered extirpated from the Willamette Valley, northeastern California, and much of its range in western Washington (Hayes 1997, Pearl and Hayes 2005). More than two-thirds of known extant populations are along the crest and eastern slope of the Cascade Range in central Oregon (Hayes 1997, Cushman and Pearl 2007, Pearl et al. 2009). Elevational range extends from near sea level in the Puget Trough lowlands in Washington to around 1,500 meters in the Oregon Cascades and locations in western Oregon (Dunlap 1955, Hayes 1997, McAllister and Leonard 1997). At the northern range limits, occurrences are unlikely to occur at elevations above 200 meters (Pearl and Hayes 2004).

Area of Occupancy: 501-2,500 4-km2 grid cells
Area of Occupancy Comments:  

Number of Occurrences: 21 - 80
Number of Occurrences Comments: As of around 2009, 38 occupied locations (sites) were known in the United States, including 8 in Washington (1 historical, 7 new) and 30 in Oregon (13 historical, 17 new) (USFWS 2009). No extant populations were known in California, but not all potential habitat theere had been adequately surveyed (USFWS 2009). In British Columbia, seven populations have been documented, but the three historical sites no longer support the species, and the four recently discovered populations appear to be isolated from one another (Haycock 2000; K. Welstead, pers. comm. 2009, cited by USFWS 2009).

As of around 2012, this species occurred in 15 sub-basins and was represented by 4 extant occurrences in British Columbia, 6 in Washington, and about a dozen in Oregon (USFWS 2013).

Population Size: 10,000 - 100,000 individuals
Population Size Comments: Total adult population size is not precisely known but clearly exceeds 10,000 and as of 2012 was minimally about 20,000 (see data in USFWS 2009, 2012). Most extant populations are small.

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Few (4-12)
Viability/Integrity Comments: Many populations are small and may not exhibit good long-term viability.

Overall Threat Impact: Very high - high
Overall Threat Impact Comments: "Habitat necessary to support all life stages is continuing to be impacted and/or destroyed by human activities that result in the loss of wetlands to land conversions; hydrologic changes resulting from operation of existing water diversions/manipulation structures, new and existing residential and road developments, drought, and removal of beavers; changes in water temperature and vegetation structure resulting from reed canarygrass invasions, plant succession, and restoration plantings; and increased sedimentation, increased water temperatures, reduced water quality, and vegetation changes resulting from the timing, intensity, and location of livestock grazing. Oregon spotted frogs in all currently occupied sub-basins in British Columbia, Washington, and Oregon are subject to one or more of these threats to their habitat. Eleven of the 15 sub-basins are currently experiencing a high to very high level of habitat impacts, and these impacts are expected to continue into the future. Disease continues to be a concern, but more information is needed to determine if disease is a threat to Oregon spotted frogs. At least one nonnative predaceous species occurs within each of the sub-basins currently occupied by Oregon spotted frogs. Introduced fish have been documented within each sub-basin; these introduced species prey on tadpoles, negatively affect overwintering habitat, and can significantly threaten Oregon spotted frog populations, especially during droughts. Bullfrogs (and likely green frogs) prey on juvenile and adult Oregon spotted frogs, and bullfrog tadpoles can outcompete or displace Oregon spotted frog tadpoles. In short, nonnative bullfrogs effectively reduce the abundance of all Oregon spotted frog
life stages and pose an added threat to a species that has significant negative impacts rangewide from habitat degradation. Nine of the 15 occupied sub-basins are currently experiencing moderate to very high impacts due to predation by introduced species, and these impacts are expected to continue into the future." Source: USFWS (2013).

Earlier Threats Comments

Habitat loss, degradation, and fragmentation probably have contributed to the decline of this species. Specific factors include altered hydrology, draining, and filling of shallow wetlands (e.g., from dam construction, beaver removal, alteration of drainage patterns, dewatering due to urban and agricultural use of water); excessive livestock grazing (but healthy populations can coexist with moderate, year-round cattle grazing; Watson et al. 2003); vegetation changes resulting from fire supression; habitat changes caused by invasions of exotic plant species such as reed canary grass (McAllister and Leonard 1997); and physiological effects from contaminants and other changes in water chemistry (Hayes et al. 1997, Blaustein et al. 1999, Watson et al. 2003). Inadequate habitat size (most occupied sites are less than 25 hectares) may contribute to ongoing and future population declines (Hayes et al. 1997). The decline of R. pretiosa populations in British Columbia is probably due to habitat losses throughout the frog's historical range in the Fraser River Lowlands (Haycock 2000).

Predation by exotic fishes (e.g., brook trout, centrarchids) and frogs (bullfrogs, northern leopard frogs) may be a threat in some areas (Pearl et al. 2004). However, in at least one location, spotted frogs and non-native bullfrogs have coexisted for several decades (Hayes et al. 2009). Bullfrogs are a threat not only as a predator but also because they may carry a fungal pathogen (Bd, see following) and might transmit it to spotted frogs (Hayes et al. 2009). In central Oregon, presence of non-native fishes in preferred spotted frog overwintering habitat was associated with low numbers of spotted frog egg masses (Pearl et al. 2009).

Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), a chytridiomycete fungus pathogenic to amphibians and implicated as the proximate cause of amphibian declines around the world (Berger et al. 1998, Pounds et al. 2006), has been found in Rana pretiosa in Oregon and Washington and may have contributed to declines observed there (Hayes et al. 2009). Other diseases also affect Oregon spotted frogs (see USFWS 2009), but the degree to which these represent signficant threats is poorly known.

Possibly global climate changes are a factor (Hayes and Jennings 1986). At the embryonic stage, UV-B radiation currently does not seem to be contributing to population declines (Blaustein et al. 1999).

The small sizes and isolation of most extant populations makes them vulnerable to extirpation with low probability of natural recolonization.

In Washington, all occupied sites are threatened by development, fluctuating water levels, and/or lack of management of exotic vegetation and predators. In Oregon, all sites are subject to one or more of the following threats: fluctuating water levels, non-native predaceous species, exotic vegetation encroachment, vegetation succession, and livestock grazing. In addition, all sites sampled in Washington and Oregon detected the presence of chytrid fungus. While the risk to an individual site from each of these factors may vary, the cumulative risk of these threats to each site is high.

Short-term Trend: Decline of 10-30%
Short-term Trend Comments: Distribution and abundance likely have continued to decline over the past 10 years or three generations. Most remaining populations are small, isolated, and vulnerable to ongoing threats and extirpation. However, the trend in most currently occupied sub-basins has not been determined (USFWS 2013).

Long-term Trend: Decline of 70-90%
Long-term Trend Comments: This species has disappeared from more than 70 percent of the historical distribution (McAllister et al. 1993, Hayes 1997, Hayes et al. 1997). USFWS (2009) stated that the species no longer occurs in at least 76 percent (and possibly more than 90 percent) of its historical range. USFWS (2013) reported that the species is absent from 76-90 percent of the former range and that it is extant in only 15 of the 31 sub-basins where it historically occurred.

Intrinsic Vulnerability: Moderately vulnerable

Environmental Specificity: Moderate to broad.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Inventory Needs: Existing populations should be monitored.

Protection Needs: The most viable populations need to be identified and protected. Assemblages of adjacent breeding sites tend to have the largest number of breeding adults per site (Pearl et al. 2009), so protection of these areas is most important.

Distribution
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Global Range: (20,000-200,000 square km (about 8000-80,000 square miles)) Range extends from southwestern British Columbia south through the eastern side of the Puget/Willamette Valley trough and the Columbia River gorge in south-central Washington to the Cascades Range at least to the Klamath Valley in Oregon (and at least formerly to northeastern California); the species is considered extirpated from the Willamette Valley, northeastern California, and much of its range in western Washington (Hayes 1997, Pearl and Hayes 2005). More than two-thirds of known extant populations are along the crest and eastern slope of the Cascade Range in central Oregon (Hayes 1997, Cushman and Pearl 2007, Pearl et al. 2009). Elevational range extends from near sea level in the Puget Trough lowlands in Washington to around 1,500 meters in the Oregon Cascades and locations in western Oregon (Dunlap 1955, Hayes 1997, McAllister and Leonard 1997). At the northern range limits, occurrences are unlikely to occur at elevations above 200 meters (Pearl and Hayes 2004).

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: occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States CA, OR, WA
Canada BC

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)
CA Modoc (06049)*, Siskiyou (06093)*
OR Benton (41003)*, Clackamas (41005), Deschutes (41017), Douglas (41019), Hood River (41027)*, Jackson (41029), Klamath (41035), Lane (41039), Linn (41043), Marion (41047)*, Multnomah (41051)*, Wasco (41065)
WA Klickitat (53039), Pierce (53053), Skagit (53057), Skamania (53059), Thurston (53067), Whatcom (53073)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
17 Middle Columbia-Hood (17070105)+, Klickitat (17070106)+, Upper Deschutes (17070301)+, Little Deschutes (17070302)+, Lower Deschutes (17070306)+, Lower Columbia-Sandy (17080001)+, Middle Fork Willamette (17090001)+, Upper Willamette (17090003)+*, Mckenzie (17090004)+, South Santiam (17090006)+, Middle Willamette (17090007)+*, Clackamas (17090011)+, Lower Willamette (17090012)+*, Upper Chehalis (17100103)+, South Umpqua (17100302)+, Upper Rogue (17100307)+, Fraser (17110001)+, Strait of Georgia (17110002)+, Nooksack (17110004)+, Nisqually (17110015)+
18 Williamson (18010201)+, Sprague (18010202)+*, Upper Klamath Lake (18010203)+, Lost (18010204)+*, Upper Klamath (18010206)+, Upper Pit (18020002)+*
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: A medium-sized frog.
General Description: This frog has upturned eyes, usually small bumps and tubercles on the the back and sides, and short hind legs relative to body length, and hind feet that are fully webbed (Leonard et al. 1993). The head is marked with a faint mask, and a light jaw stripe extends to the shoulder. Black spots are scattered on the head, back, sides, and legs. The dark spots have ragged edges and light centers and usually are associated with a tubercle or raised area of skin. The spots become larger and darker, and the edges become more ragged, with age (Hayes 1994). Juveniles are usually brown or, occasionally, olive green on the back and white, cream, or flesh-colored with reddish pigments on the underlegs and abdomen (McAllister and Leonard 1997). Adults range from brown to reddish brown but tend to become redder with age. Large, presumably older, individuals may be brick red over most of the dorsal surface (McAllister and Leonard 1997). Red surface pigment on the adult abdomen increases with age, and the underlegs of adults are a vivid orange red. Tan to orange folds along the sides of the back (dorsolateral folds) extend from behind the eye to midway along the back (McAllister and Leonard 1997). This is a medium-sized frog about 44-105 millimeters (1.7 to 4.1 inches) in body (snout-vent) length (McAllister and Leonard 1997, Rombough et al. 2006). Adult females are typically larger than adult males (the latter reach only about 75 mm (3 inches) (Leonard et al. 1993).

The weak call consists of a rapid series of 6-9 low clucking notes, sometimes described as sounding like a distant woodpecker's tapping. This species generally vocalizes only during the breeding season (Leonard et al. 1993); however vocalizations have been heard during the fall (Leonard et al. 1997).

Diagnostic Characteristics: "The following traits distinguish the Oregon spotted frog from the Cascades and northern red-legged frog: 1) the dorsal spots are black with ragged edges and light centers, 2) the eyes are oriented upward with the entire pupil of both eyes visible when the frog is viewed directly from above, 3) there is nearly full webbing between the toes with the webbing of the hind foot reaching almost to the tip of the longest toe and the webbing is almost straight when the toes are stretched apart, 4) the coloration in the groin area is similar to the coloration anteriorly on the side and posteriorly on the thighs with no obvious yellow and black mottled patch or patches, 5) when the hind leg is pressed forward against the body, the heel of the hind foot will seldom reach the nostril (similarly, the knee to heel measurement is typically less than half of the snout-vent length), 6) the dorsolateral folds are interrupted about two-thirds the distance down the back from the eye and often disappear entirely posteriorly, and 7) Cascade Frogs have honey-colored and yellow undersides, not red. The above traits may be difficult to see or absent in small juvenile frogs. Bullfrogs, a common non-native species, have a distinct fold from the posterior edge of the eye, around the top of the tympanum and ending at the arm and they lack dorsolateral folds." Source: Hallock and McAllister (2005). Corkran and Thoms (2006) also distinguished this species from the northern red-legged frog and Cascades frog

Corkran and Thoms (2006) presented keys to eggs, larvae, and metamorphosed individuals.

Reproduction Comments: The life cycle involves distinct stages: eggs, larvae, and metamorphosed individuals. Breeding occurs as early as February or March at lower elevations and as late as late May or early June at higher elevations (Leonard et al. 1993), and at a particular elevation southern populations likely tend to breed earlier than do northern populations. Breeding occurs in February at sea level in British Columbia. In central Oregon, the period from first oviposition to first hatching occurred in mid- to late April (Bowerman and Pearl 2010). Where freezing occurs, breeding generally occurs as early as winter thaw permits. In at least some areas breeding is "explosive" and occurs primarily within a period of 1-2 weeks (Pearl and Hayes 2005). Reproductive females likely breed once each year and deposit one egg mass per breeding event, and they usually lay eggs communally in clusters containing up to several hundred egg masses, often in the same location year after year. Eggs survive freezing air temperatures and ice cover for up to several days (Bowerman and Pearl 2010), hatch in 3-21 days, depending on temperature. Metamorphosis occurs in mid- to late summer (Nussbaum et al. 1983). Individuals first breed when 1-3 years old (females generally at 2-3 years), depending on the elevation and latitude (mature at greater age at high elevations). Most individuals live not more than a few years, but some may live more than a deacde (see USFWS 2009).
Habitat Type: Freshwater
Non-Migrant: Y
Locally Migrant: Y
Long Distance Migrant: N
Mobility and Migration Comments: Individuals regularly move short to long distances between breeding and nonbreeding habitats. Movements of several hundred meters are not unusual, and intensive studies or use of appropriate methodology such as radiotelemetry indicate that much longer movements occur. In Washington, three frogs (one male and two females) in Washington moved a distance of 2.4 kilometers along a creek from the point where they were marked (McAllister and Walker 2003). In Oregon, two juveniles were recaptured 1.2 kilometers and 1.4 kilometers downstream from where they were initially marked, and one adult female moved 2.8 kilometers downstream (Cushman and Pearl 2007). In some locations individuals routinely make annual migrations of 0.5-1.3 kilometers between breeding and overwintering sites (J. Bowerman, pers. comm., 2006, cited by USFWS 2009).

Adults can be found in the same general location in successive years (Hayes 1998). In Washington, four females had home ranges not larger than 5 hectares (average 2.2 hectares) (Watson et al. 2003).

These frogs are capable of colonizing sites within at least several hundred meters of an existing population, if there is adequate riparian/wetland habitat between areas, at least seasonally (Watson et al. 2003).

Riverine Habitat(s): CREEK, Low gradient, MEDIUM RIVER, Pool, SPRING/SPRING BROOK
Lacustrine Habitat(s): Deep water, Shallow water
Palustrine Habitat(s): HERBACEOUS WETLAND, Riparian, TEMPORARY POOL
Special Habitat Factors: Benthic
Habitat Comments: The Oregon spotted frog is highly aquatic and generally avoids dry uplands. It is rarely found far from permanent quiet water. Usually it occurs in vegetated shallows or among grasses or sedges along the margins of streams, lakes, ponds (including those behind beaver dams), oxbows, springs, and marshes (Hodge 1976, Licht 1986, Watson et al. 2003, Chelgren et al. 2008). Individuals move among seasonal habitats usually along flooded or saturated corridors (Watson et al. 2003). In Washington, overland movements were very rare (Watson et al. 2003). Breeding occurs usually in shallow water in pools, ponds, or other quiet waters, among moderate or dense herbaceous vegetation, often close to shore but sometimes far from away from the edge (Pearl et al. 2009). Oviposition sites may be devoid of water later in the year. In Washington, frogs used deeper permanent pools in the dry season; in the coldest periods they buried themselves at the base of dense vegetation in shallow water under ice (Watson et al. 2003). In central Oregon, breeding habitats were natural or anthropogenic and ranged from small, seasonally flooded oxbow ponds to larger channels and marshes within an extensive wetland complex; most sites had extensive emergent and submergent vegetation (Bowerman and Pearl 2010). Wintering sites are in springs, slow-flowing channels, or deep open water (Hallock and Pearson 2001, Chelgren et al. 2008).

Pearl and Hayes (2004) reviewed available literature and summarized habitat relationships as follows. Oregon spotted frogs are generally associated with wetland complexes > 4 ha in size with extensive emergent marsh coverage that warms substantially during seasons when the frogs are active at the surface. The expanse of inundation in wetlands often varies greatly between spring and fall, but sites always include some permanent water adjacent to seasonally inundated habitat. Field observations and recent telemetry data suggest the frog utilize different wetland microhabitats for breeding, the nonbreeding active season (summer and portions of spring and fall), and overwintering. Breeding sites are generally associated with seasonally flooded, shallowly sloping benches that are vegetated with the previous year's emergent vegetation and are relatively unshaded. The frogs' shallow-water breeding habitat may contribute to relatively frequent stranding of the communally deposited egg masses and substantial egg mortality. Limited data suggest that adults may move little during the nonbreeding active season and may prefer microhabitats of moderate vegetation density that are near aquatic refuges.

Adult Food Habits: Invertivore
Immature Food Habits: Herbivore
Food Comments: The diet includes a wide variety of insects (e.g., beetles, flies) as well as mollusks, crustaceans, and spiders, and adults sometimes eat other amphibians such as newly metamorphosed red-legged frogs, western toads, or newly hatched conspecifics (McAllister and Leonard 1997, Pearl and Hayes 2005). Larvae eat algae, organic debris, carrion, plant tissue, and minute organisns in water.
Adult Phenology: Diurnal, Hibernates/aestivates
Immature Phenology: Diurnal, Hibernates/aestivates
Phenology Comments: Activity may occur year-round at low elevations (Jones et al. 2005). Relatively little activity occurs during the coldest periods in winter, though frogs may actively move within the aquatic habitat in winter, even under ice (Hallock and Pearson 2001, Hayes et al. 2001, Risenhoover et al. 2001).
Colonial Breeder: Y
Length: 10 centimeters
Economic Attributes
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Economic Comments: This species has no significant economic uses.
Management Summary
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Stewardship Overview: USFWS (2009) recommended the following specific conservation measures: Implement adequate water management activities at Conboy Lake and in the surrounding valley. Implement vegetation management and/or removal of exotic vegetation. Reduce/control heavy livestock grazing. Assess chytrid fungus effects to Oregon spotted frogs. Evaluate methods to reduce or eliminate nonnative predaceous fish and bullfrogs. Work with adjacent private landowners to provide adequate buffers to Oregon spotted frog habitat. Increase open water habitat at one Washington site. Support restoration plans for wetland and riverine habitat on the Klamath Marsh National Wildlife Refuge.
Monitoring Requirements: Egg mass counts are believed to provide a good, time-efficient estimate of adult population size; the rule of thumb is that 1 egg mass is equivalent to 1 breeding female plus 1-2 adult males (C. Pearl, pers. comm., 2006, cited by USFWS 2009). Because of the the uncertainty as to whether adult females breed every year and the difficulty of distinguishing individual egg masses in large communal clusters, population estimates derived from egg mass counts are considered to be a minimum population estimate.
Management Research Needs: Pearl and Hayes (2004) recommended that research be conducted on the following topics related to habitat: 1) Minimum site size and habitat complexity necessary to support an Oregon spootted frog (OSF) population even when isolated; 2) Habitat characteristics and types of corridors that may reduce isolation between extant OSF breeding sites; 3) Overwintering habitat use and quality (especially for selected water quality parameters) at low and high elevation sites; 4) Attributes of OSF movements and utilized pathways between seasonal use areas; 5) Importance of vegetation change (both invasion by non-native species such as reed canarygrass and encroachment by woody vegetation in fire-suppressed areas) in affecting habitat suitability, and OSF response to vegetation management alternatives; 6) OSF habitat responses to management practices such as livestock grazing and hydrological alterations (anthropogenic, beaver and others); and 7) Habitat attributes that relate to coexistence or increased risk of extirpation when OSF occur with non-native fish and bullfrogs.
Biological Research Needs: Current research needs include: 1. Coordinated range-wide monitoring of populations to determine sizes and trends. 2. Assessment of habitat use patterns and potential impacts of projected and ongoing logging operations, mining, and other development operations across the range. 3. Studies of potential factors causing regional declines in this species and other amphibians in general. 4. Long-term viability analysis and development of appropriate management protoclols for ensuring viable populations.

Further study of movement ecology is needed to improve our understanding of habitat connectivity and the effects of site isolation on the persistence of R. pretiosa in Oregon (Pearl et al. 2009).

Population/Occurrence Delineation
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Group Name: Ranid Frogs

Use Class: Not applicable
Subtype(s): Breeding Location
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Occurrences are based on evidence of historical presence, or current and likely recurring presence, at a given location. Such evidence minimally includes collection or reliable observation and documentation of one or more individuals (including larvae or eggs) in or near appropriate habitat where the species is presumed to be established and breeding.
Separation Barriers: Busy major highway, especially at night, such that frogs rarely if ever cross successfully; urban development dominated by buildings and pavement; habitat in which site-specific data indicate the frogs virtually never occur.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 1 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Justification: BARRIERS/UNSUITABLE HABITAT: Rivers may or may not be effective barriers, depending on stream width and flow dynamics; identification of streams as barriers is a subjective determination. Ranid frog species vary in habitat use, but even the most aquatic species may traverse upland habitat when conditions are suitable (Pope and Matthews 2001); natural and seminatural upland habitat generally does not constitute a barrier. Here, unsuitable habitat refers to upland habitat devoid or nearly devoid of wetlands, streams, ponds, or lakes. Bodies of water dominated by predatory fishes may be barriers to some species but suitable habitat for others; in most cases, such waters probably should be regarded as unsuitable habitat.

SUITABLE HABITAT: Suitable habitat includes riparian/riverine corridors, wetlands, and wetland/upland mosaics in which wetland patches are separated by less than 1 km of upland habitat; it also includes any upland habitat regularly used for feeding or wintering (e.g., mesic forest for wood frogs).

MOVEMENTS: Available information indicates that individual ranids occasionally move distances of several km (R. luteiventris: Reaser 1996, cited by Koch et al. 1997; R. blairi: Gillis 1975) but most individuals stay within a few kilometers of their breeding sites (R. aurora draytonii: USFWS, Federal Register, 11 September 2000; R. capito: Franz et al. 1988; R. clamitans: Lamoureux and Madison 1999; R. luteiventris: Turner 1960, Hollenbeck 1974, Bull and Hayes 2001). Similarly, maximum distance between capture points generally is a few kilometers or less (R. aurora: Hayes et al. 2001; USFWS, Federal Register, 11 September 2000; R. catesbeiana: Willis et al. 1956; R. luteiventris: Reaser and Pilliod, in press; Engle 2000; R. muscosa: Pope and Matthews 2001). Dispersal data for juveniles are lacking for most species.

Adult and juvenile R. sylvatica readily traveled in excess of 300 m from their pools of origin (Vasconcelos and Calhoun 2004). Bellis (1965) determined that adult and juvenile R. sylvatica in a peat bog had traveled at least 410 m from the nearest breeding pool. Berven and Grudzien (1990) found that dispersing R. sylvatica juveniles traveled an average of 1,208 m from their natal pools. In the Shenandoah Mountains, data for R. sylvatica indicated that ponds separated by a distance greater than 1,000 m should experience little gene flow (Berven and Grudzien 1991). In contrast, populations in Minnesota were very similar in allelic frequencies, even at distances greater than several kilometers (Squire and Newman 2002). However, sample sizes and number of loci examined were small, and genetic patterns do not necessarily reflect movement distances.

The preponderance of data for ranids indicate that a separation distance of several kilometers may be appropriate for suitable habitat and practical for occurrence delineation, despite occasional movements that are longer and that may allow some genetic interchange between distant populations. The movement data for ranids are here regarded as consistent enough to allow the same separation distance to be used for different species; much of the apparent variation in movements doubtless reflects differences in study methods and in the ability to detect long-distance movements.

Date: 01Apr2005
Author: Hammerson, G.
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: 10Oct2013
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Hammerson, G., E. West, and E. Gaines
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 07Jul2011
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
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