Skip booklet index and go to page content

Red-legged Frog (Rana Aurora)

Acknowledgements

Laura Friis provided access to summaries of locality records, greatly facilitating the preparation of this report.  Laura Friis, Kathy Paige, and Kari Nelson patiently answered all our queries. We thank Ann Chan-McLeod, Elke Wind, Purnima Govindarajulu, Ted Davis, Barb Beasley, and Rob Rithaler for generously sharing with us their reports, results of work in progress, and unpublished data. Kelly McAllister and Rick Nauman provided us with drafts of their distribution maps that were useful for the preparation of Figure 2. Kelly Sendall provided access to specimens at the Royal British Columbia Museum. Michèle Steigerwald provided information on specimens at the Canadian Museum of Nature, and Francis Cook kindly inspected specimens there. D. Fraser, P. Gregory, D. Rivard, and D. Green provided helpful review comments on an earlier version of this report.

Funding for the preparation of this status report provided y the Canadian Wildlife Service, Environment Canada.


Information Sources

Adams, M.J. 1999. Correlated factors in amphibian decline: exotic species and habitat change in western Washington. Journal of Wildlife Management 63:1162–1171.

Adams, M.J. 2000. Pond permanence and the effects of exotic vertebrates on anurans. Ecological Applications 10:559–568.

Altig, R. and Dumas, P.C. 1972. Rana aurora. In: Reimer, W.J. (editor), Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles 160. American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists.

Aubry, K.B. 2000. Amphibians in managed, second-growth Douglas-fir forests. Journal of Wildlife Management 64:1041–1052.

Aubry, K.B. and Hall, P.A. 1991. Terrestrial amphibian communities in the southern Washington Cascade Range. In: L.F. Ruggiero, K.B. Aubry, A.B. Carey and M.H. Huff (technical coordinators): Wildlife and Vegetation of Unmanaged Douglas-Fir Forests. Pp 327–338.

Barnett, H.K. and Richardson, J.S. 2002. Predation risk and competition effects on the life-history characteristics of larval Oregon spotted frog and larval red-legged frog. Oecologia-Berlin 132:436–444.

BC Ministry of Forests. 1991. Vancouver Island’s Forests. Landsat 5 thematic mapper imagery, map prepared by British Columbia Ministry of Forests Inventory Branch, January 1991.

BC Ministry of Forests. 2003. Central Coast Land and Resource Management Plan: Protection Areas & Option Areas. http://srmwww.gov.bc.ca/rmd/lrmp/cencoast/protection.htm (Accessed August 2003).

BC Species and Ecosystem Explorer. 2003. Government of British Columbia, Ministries of  Sustainable Resource Management and Water, Land and Air Protection. http://srmapps.gov.bc.ca/apps/eswp/ (accessed September 2003).

Beasley, B. 2003. The SPLAT project update: monitoring amphibian movements and mortality on the Pacific Rim highway. Unpublished report prepared for Pacific Rim National Park Reserve and Ecosystem Services, Western Canada Services Centre of Parks Canada.

Beasley, B., Addison, C. and Lucas, K. 2000. Clayoquot Sound amphibian inventory, 1998-1999. Unpublished report, Long Beach Model Forest Society and the Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks, Ucluelet, BC.

Belden, L.K. and Blaustein, A.R. 2002. Exposure of red-legged frog embryos to ambient UV-B radiation in the field negatively affects larval growth and development. Oecologia (Berlin) 130:551–554.

Blaustein, A.R., Beatty, J.J., Olson, D.H., and Storm, R.M. 1995. The biology of amphibians and reptiles in old-growth forests in the Pacific Northwest. USDA Forest Service, General Technical Report PNW-GTR-337. 98 pp.

Blaustein, A.R., Hoffman, P.D., Hokit, D.G., Kiesecker, J.M., Walls, S.C., and Hays, J.B. 1994a. UV repair and resistance to solar UV-B in amphibian eggs: a link to population declines? Proceedings of National Academy of Science (USA) 91:1791–1795.

Blaustein, A.R., Wake, D.B., and Sousa, W.P. 1994b. Amphibian declines: judging stability, persistence, and susceptibility of populations to local and global extinctions. Conservation Biology 8:60–71.

Blaustein, A.R., Hoffman, PD., Kiesecker, J.M., and Hays, J.B. 1996. DNA repair activity and resistance to solar UV-B radiation in eggs of the Red-legged Frog. Conservation Biology 10:1398–1402.

Bonin, J., Ouellet, M., Rodrigue, J., DesGranges, J-L., Gagné, F., Sharbel, T.F., and Lowcock, L.A. 1997. Measuring the health of frogs in agricultural habitats subjected to pesticides. In Amphibians in Decline: Canadian Studies of a Global Problem (D.M. Green, editor).  Herpetological Conservation 1:246–257.

Boone, M.D. and Semlich, R.D. 2001. Interactions of an insecticide with larval density and predation in experimental amphibian communities. Conservation Biology 15:228–238.

Boone, M.D. and Semlich, R.D. 2002. Interactions of an insecticide with competition and pond drying in amphibian communities. Ecological Applications 12:307–216.

Boyle, C.A., Lukowich, L., Schreier, H. and Kiss, E. 1997. Changes in land cover and subsequent effects on Lower Fraser Basin ecosystems from 1827 to 1990. Environmental Management 21(2): 185 –196.

Brown, H.A. 1975. Reproduction and development of the red-legged frog, Rana aurora, in northwestern Washington. Northwest Science 49:241–252.

Bulger, J.B., Scott, N.J., and Seymour, R.B. 2003. Terrestrial activity and conservation of adult California red-legged frogs Rana aurora draytonii in coastal forests and grasslands. Biological Conservation 110:85–95.

Bury, R.B., Corn, P.S., and Aubry, K.B. 1991. Regional patterns of terrestrial amphibian communities in Oregon and Washington. In: L.F. Ruggiero, K.B. Aubry, A.B. Carey and M.H. Huff (technical coordinators): Wildlife and Vegetation of Unmanaged Douglas-Fir Forests. Pp. 341–350.

Calef, G.W. 1973a. Spatial distribution and "effective" breeding population of red-legged frogs (Rana aurora) in Marion Lake, British Columbia. Canadian Field-Naturalist 87:279–284.

Calef, G.W. 1973b. Natural mortality of tadpoles in a population of Rana aurora. Ecology 54:741–758.

Chan-McLeod, A.C.A. 2003a. Refining the funnel trapping protocol for monitoring amphibians and movement patterns of red-legged frogs. Unpublished progress report prepared for Weyerhaueser Company, Nanaimo, BC.

Chan-McLeod, A.C.A. 2003b. Factors affecting the permeability of clearcuts to red-legged frogs.  Journal of Wildlife Management 67:663–671.

Chan-McLeod, A.C.A. and Moy, A. (in review). Evaluating residual tree patches as stepping stones and short-term refugia for anurans. Unpublished manuscript.

Cole, E.C., McComb, W.C., Newton, M., Chambers, C.L., and Leeming, J.P. 1997. Response of amphibians to clearcutting, burning, and glyphosate application in the Oregon Coast Range. Journal of Wildlife Management 61:656–664.

Corkran, C.C. and Thoms, C. 1996. Amphibians of Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia. Lone Pine Publishing, Vancouver, BC.

Crother, B.I. 2000. Scientific and standard English names of amphibians and reptiles of North America north of Mexico, with comments regarding confidence in our understanding (by Committee on Standard English and Scientific Names).  SSAR. http://www.herplit.com/SSAR/circulars/HC29/Crother.html (accessed September 2003).

Crump, D. 2001. The effect of UV-B radiation and endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) on the biology of amphibians. Environmental Review 9:61–80.

Crump. M. 2003. Conservation of amphibians in the New World tropics. Pp. 53–69, in: Semlitsch, R. (editor), Amphibian Conservation. Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC.

Daszak, P., Berger, L., Cunningham, A.A., Hyatt, A.D., Green, DE., and Speare, R. 1999. Emerging infectious diseases and amphibian population declines. Emerging Infectious Diseases 5:735–748.

Davidson, C., Shaffer, H.B., and Jennings, M.R. 2002. Spatial tests of the pesticide drift, habitat destruction, UV-B, and climate-change hypotheses for California amphibian declines. Conservation Biology 16:1588–1601.

Davis, T.M. and Gregory, P.T. 2003. Decline and local extinction of the Western Toad, Bufo boreas, on southern Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. Herp. Rev. 34:350–351.

De Solla, S.R., Pettit, K.E., Bishop, C.A., Cheng, K.M., and Elliott, J.E. 2002a. Effects of agricultural runoff on native amphibians in the lower Fraser River Valley, British Columbia, Canada. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 21:353–360.

De Solla, S.R., Bishop, C.A., Pettit, K.E., and Elliot, J.E. 2002b. Organochloride pesticides and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in eggs of red-legged frogs (Rana aurora) and northwestern salamanders (Ambystoma gracile) in an agricultural landscape. Chemosphere 46:1027–1032.

Dickman, M. 1968. The effect of grazing by tadpoles on the structure of a periphyton community. Ecology 49:1188–1190.

Duellman, W.E. and Trueb, L. 1996. Biology of Amphibians. McGraw-Hill Book Company, New York.

Fellers, G.M., Launer, A.E., Rathbun, G., Bobzien, S., Alvarez, J., Sterner, D., Seymour, R.B., and Westphal, M. 2001. Overwintering tadpoles in the California red-legged frog (Rana aurora draytonii). Herpetological Review 32:156–157.

Gates, D.M. 1993. Climate Change and Its Biological Consequences. Sunderland, MA.  Sinauer Assoc, Inc.

Gibbs, J.P. 1998. Distribution of woodland amphibians along a forest fragmentation gradient. Landscape Ecology 113:263–268.

Govindarajulu, P. 2003.  Survey of bullfrogs Rana catesbeiana in British Columbia. http://web.uvic.ca/bullfrogs (accessed August 2003).

Green, D.M. and Campbell, R.W. 1984. The Amphibians of British Columbia. Victoria, B.C. British Columbia Provincial Museum. Handbook No. 45.

Green, D.M. 2003. The ecology of extinction: population fluctuation and decline in amphibians. Biological Conservation 11:331–343.

Halliday, T. 2000. Nitrates and amphibians. Froglog 38:3.

Haycock, R.  1996.  Oregon Spotted Frog project.  Unpublished report prepared for B.C. Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks, Victoria, B.C. (cited in Waye 1999).

Haycock, R.  1998. Amphibian survey with special emphasis on the Oregon Spotted Frog Rana pretiosa. Selected wetland sites: Fraser Lowlands and corridors to Interior Plateau. Unpublished report prepared by Hyla Environmental Services for BC Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks, Wildlife Branch, Victoria, B.C.

Haycock, R. 2000. COSEWIC assessment and status report on the Oregon Spotted Frog, Rana pretiosa, in Canada. Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada, Ottawa.

Hayes, M.P. and Jennings, M.R. 1986. Decline of ranid frog species in western North America: are bullfrogs (Rana catesbeiana) responsible? Journal of Herpetology 20:490–509.

Hayes, M.P. and Miyamoto, M.M. 1984. Biochemical, behavioral and body size differences between Rana aurora aurora and R. a. draytoni. Copeia 1984:1018‑1022.

Hayes, M.P., Pearl, C.A., and Rombough, C.J. 2001. Rana aurora aurora (northern red-legged frog). Movement. Herpetological Review 32:35–36.

Johnson-Pieter, T.J., Lunde, K.B., Thurman, E.M., Ritchie, E.G., Wray, S.N., Sutherland, D.R., Kapfer, J.M., Frest, T.J., Bowerman, J., and Blaustein, A.R. 2002. Parasite (Ribeiroia ondatrae) infection linked to amphibian malformations in the western United States. Ecological Monographs 72:151–168.

Kiesecker, J.M. and Blaustein, A.R. 1995. Synergism between UV-B radiation and a pathogen magnifies amphibian embryo mortality in nature. Proceedings of the National Acaddemy of Science USA (Ecology) 92:11049–11052.

Kiesecker, J.M. and Blaustein, A.R. 1997. Population differences in responses of red-legged frogs (Rana aurora) to introduced bullfrogs. Ecology (Washington DC) 78:1752–1760.

Kiesecker, J.M. and Blaustein, A.R. 1998. Effects of introduced bullfrogs and smallmouth bass on microhabitat use, growth, and survival of native red-legged frogs (Rana aurora). Conservation Biology 12:777–787.

Kiesecker, J.M., Blaustein, A.R., and Miller, C.L. 2001. Potential mechanisms underlying the displacement of native red-legged frogs by introduced bullfrogs. Source:  Ecology (Washington DC) 82:964–1970.

Kiesecker, J.M., Chivers, D.P., Anderson, M., and Blaustein, A.R. 2002. Effect of predator diet on life history shifts of red-legged frogs, Rana aurora. Journal of Chemical Ecology 28:1007–1015.

Knopp, D.  1996. Wetlands of the Fraser Valley – amphibian survey. Unpublished report prepared by B.C.’s Wild Heritage Consultants for B.C. Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks, Victoria, B.C.

Knopp, D. 1997. Oregon Spotted Frog in the Fraser River Lowlands. Unpublished report prepared by B.C.’s Wild Heritage Consultants for B.C. Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks, Victoria, B.C.

Lefcort, H. and Blaustein, A.R. 1995. Disease, predator avoidance, and vulnerability to predation in tadpoles. Oikos 74:469–474.

Leonard, W.P., Brown, H.A., Jones, L.L.C., McAllister, K.R., and Storm, R.M. (coordinating editors). 1993. Amphibians of Washington and Oregon. Seattle. Seattle Audobon Society.

Licht, L.E. 1969. Comparative breeding behavior of the red-legged frog, (Rana aurora aurora) and the western spotted frog (Rana pretiosa pretiosa) in southwestern British Columbia. Canadian Journal of Zoology 47:1287–1299.

Licht, L.E. 1971. Breeding habits and embryonic thermal requirements of the frogs, Rana aurora aurora and Rana pretiosa pretiosa in the Pacific northwest. Ecology 52:116–124.

Licht, L.E. 1974. Survival of embryos, tadpoles, and adults of the frogs Rana aurora aurora and Rana pretiosa sympatric in southwestern British Columbia. Canadian Journal of Zoology 52:613–627.

Licht, L.E. 1986. Food and feeding behavior of sympatric red-legged frogs, Rana aurora and spotted frogs, Rana pretiosa, in southwestern British Columbia. Canadian Field-Naturalist 100:22–31.

Macey, J.R., Strasburg, J.L., Brisson, J.A., Vredenburg, V.T., Jennings, M., and Larson, A. 2001. Molecular phylogenetics of western North American frogs of the Rana boylii species group. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 19:131–143.

MacKinnon, A. and M. Eng. 1995. Old Forests: Inventory for Coastal British Columbia. Cordillera: A journal of British Columbia Natural History, Summer 1995:20-33.

Mao, J., Green, D.E., Fellers, G., and Chinchar, V.G. 1999. Molecular characterization of iridoviruses isolated from sympatric amphibians and fish. Virus Research 63:45‑52.

Marco, A. and Blaustein, A.R. 1999. The effects of nitrate on behavior and metamorphosis in Cascades frogs (Rana cascadae). Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry 18:946-949.

Marco, A., Quichano, C., and Blaustein, A.R. 1999. Sensitivity to nitrate and nitrite in pond-breeding amphibians from the Pacific Northwest, USA. Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry 18:2836-2839.

Marsh, D.M. and Trenham, P.C. Metapopulation dynamics and amphibian conservation. Conservation Biology 15:40 – 49.

McTaggart Cowan, I. 1941. Longevity of the red-legged frog. Copeia 1941:48.

Maxcy, K.A.  2003 (Draft).  Red-legged Frog (Rana aurora aurora).  Pp 107 – 118 in Paige, K. (editor). Standards for Managing Identified Wildlife.  Ministry of Forests and Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection.  Victoria, B.C.

NatureServe Explorer. 2003. http://www.natureserve.org/explorer/sumvert.htm (accessed July 2003)

Nichols, D.K. 2003. Tracking down the killer chytrid of amphibians. Herpetological Review 34:101–104.

Nussbaum, R.A., Brodie, E.D. Jr., and Storm, R.M. 1983. Amphibians & Reptiles of the Pacific Northwest. Northwestern University Press of Idaho, Moscow. 332 pp.

Ostergaard, E.C. and Richter, KO. 2001. Stormwater ponds as surrogate wetlands for assessing amphibians as bioindicators. http://www.epa.gov/owow/wetlands/bawwg/natmtg2001/richter/richter.pdf (Accessed August 2003)

Ovaska, K., Davis, T.M., and Novales Flamarique, I. 1997. Hatching success and larval survival of the frogs Hyla regilla and Rana aurora under ambient and artificially-enhanced solar UV radiation. Canadian Journal of Zoology  75:1081–1088.

Ovaska, K., Hyatt, L., and Sopuck, L. 2002. Rana aurora.Geographic distribution. Herpetological Review 33:318.

Ovaska, K., Sopuck, L., Engelstoft, E., Matthias, L., Wind, E. and MacGarvie, J. 2003. Best Management Practices for Amphibians and Reptiles in Urban and Rural Environments in British Columbia. Prepared for BC Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection Nanaimo, BC.

Pechmann, J.H.K. and Wilbur, H.M. 1994. Putting declining amphibian populations in perspective: natural fluctuations and human impacts. Herpetologica 50:65–84.

Rathbun, G.B. 1998. Rana aurora draytonii (California red-legged frog). Egg predation. Herpetological Review 29:165.

Reimchen, T.E. 1991. Introduction and dispersal of the Pacific treefrog, Hyla regilla, on the Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbia. The Canadian Field-Naturalist 105:288–290.

RENEW 2003. RENEW Recovery Handbook. Working draft, 30 April 2003.

Rithaler, R.C. 2002. Delta Watersheds: Fish and Amphibian distributions. (1:25,000 map; created 13 October 2001, amended 28 January 2002). Available from the Corporation of Delta, 4500 Clarence Taylor Crescent, Delta BC V4K 3E2.

Rithaler, R.C. 2003. Amphibians in Delta. (1:90,000 map; created 12 August 2002, amended 18 August 2003). Available from the Corporation of Delta, 4500 Clarence Taylor Crescent, Delta BC V4K 3E2.

Rouse, J.D., Bishop, C.A., and Struger, J. 1999. Nitrogen pollution: An assessment of its threat to amphibian survival. Environmental Health Perspectives 107:799–803.

Schaefer, V. 1994.  Urban biodiversity. Chapter 22 in Biodiversity in British Columbia: Our Changing Environment (L.E. Harding and E. McCallum, eds.) Environment Canada, Canadian Wildlife service, Ottawa, ON. 425 p.

Shean, J.T.S. 2002. Post-breeding movements and habitat use by the Northern Red-legged Frog, Rana aurora aurora, at Dempsey Creek, Thurston County, Washington. Thesis for Master in Environmental Studies, Evergreen State College, Olympia, Washington, U.S.A.

Sierra Club, 2003.  Vancouver Island: How much has been logged? http://www.sierraclub.ca/bc/Campaigns/VancouverIsland/vimaps.html (accessed September 2003).

Speare, R. and Berger, L. 2002. Global distribution of chytridiomycosis in amphibians. World Wide Web - http://www.jcu.edu.au/school/phtm/PHTM/frogs/chyglob.htm (accessed August 2003).

Statistics Canada. 2003. Lower Mainland and southern Vancouver Island, population change 1996-2001.http://geodepot.statcan.ca/Diss/Highlights/Page9/Vancouver_e.jpg (accessed August 2003).

Stebbins, R.C. 1985. A Field Guide to Western Reptiles and Amphibians. Second edition, revised. Houghton Mifflin, Boston.

 Stebbins, R.C. and Cohen, N.W. 1995. A Natural History of Amphibians. Princeton Univ. Press, Princeton, New Jersey.

Storm, R.M. 1960. Notes on the breeding biology of the red-legged frog (Rana aurora aurora. Herpetologica 16:251–259.

Sunshine Coast Regional District. 2002. Sunshine Coast regional issues assessment. Final report. July 18, 2002.

Sunshine Coast Regional District. 2003. Sunshine Coast Habitat Atlas; forest cover map. http://habitat.scrd.bc.ca/images/HA_Forest_Cover.pdf

Van Kooten, G.C. 1995. Modeling public forest land use tradeoffs on Vancouver Island. Journal of Forest Economics 1: 191-218. http://www.urbanfischer.de/journals/jfe/content/1995/van%20Kooten.pdf (accessed October 2003).

Vitt, L.J., Wilbur, H.M., Caldwell, J.P., and Smith, D.C. 1990. Amphibians as harbingers of decay. BioScience 40:418.

Waye, H. COSEWIC status report on the Red-legged Frog (Rana aurora) in Canada.  1999.  Unpublished report prepared for COSEWIC. 27 pp.

Wells, K.D. 1977. The social behaviour of anuran amphibians. Animal Behaviour 25:666–693.

Wind, E. 2003. Aquatic-breeding amphibian monitoring program. Analysis of small wetland habitats on Vancouver Island. Annual Progress Report 2002.  Unpublished report prepared for Weyerhaueser BC Coastal Group, Nanaimo, BC.

Wind, E. (in review). Effects of nonnative predators on aquatic ecosystems. Unpublished report prepared for the Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection, Victoria, BC.