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Red-legged Frog (Rana Aurora)

Biographical Summary of the Report Writers

Kristiina Ovaska, M.Sc., Ph.D. has studied the behaviour and ecology of amphibians as a part of her dissertation and post-doctoral work and as a consultant over the past 20 years. In British Columbia, her amphibian studies have addressed social behaviour and population dynamics of plethodontid salamanders, interactions with forestry practices, effects of UV-B radiation on hatching success of aquatic-breeding amphibians, and effects on endocrine-disrupting compounds on amphibian metamorphosis and tadpole behaviour. She has also carried out various surveys for amphibians, including species at risk. She has also studied community ecology of salamanders in Washington State and courtship behaviour and ecology of tropical frogs in the West Indies and Panama. She is the author of 8 COSEWIC status reports and 5 RENEW recovery strategies for amphibian, reptile, and mollusc species, and over 40 publications in refereed scientific literature, most of them on amphibians.

Lennart Sopuck, MSc. has studied a wide variety of wildlife species over the last 25 years, including several species at risk, and specializes in research on the effects of human activities on wildlife. He is co-author of the RENEW recovery strategy for the Coastal Giant Salamander and for two species of terrestrial gastropods. He has participated in studies of plethodontid salamanders on Vancouver Island, including population monitoring and the effects of variable-retention forest harvesting practices. He is co-author of a report that describes best management practices to assist land developers in the protection of amphibians and reptiles in rural and urban environments in British Columbia.

Authorities Contacted


(Contacted in July – September 2003 for locality records and results of ongoing and recent studies)

Beasley, Barb. Consultant. Ucluelet, BC.

Chan-McLeod, Ann. Dept. of Forest Sciences, Forest Sciences Centre, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C.

Davis, Ted. Lecturer, Camosun University College, Victoria, BC.

Govindarajulu, P. Ph.D. candidate, Department of Biology, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC. (August 2003)

Knopp, Denis, Consultant, B.C.’s Wild Heritage Environmental Consultants, Chilliwack, B.C.

Meggill, W. Research Associate, Department of Zoology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC. (August 2003)

Shean, J.T. Graduate student. Evergreen State College, Olympia, Washington, U.S.A.; (September 2003)

Wind, Elke. Consultant . E. Wind Consulting, Nanaimo, BC

BC Ministry of Air, Land and Water Protection personnel:

(Contacted for information on policies and management measures, or locality records in July – August 2003)

Friis, Laura. Small Mammal and Herpetofauna Specialist, Biodiversity Branch, Victoria.

Nelson, Kari. Species at Risk Biologist, Biodiversity Branch, Victoria.

Paige, Kathy. Biodiversity Monitoring and Reporting Section, Victoria.

Vennesland, Ross. FIA Species at Risk Recovery Biologist, Surrey BC.

Other institutions or individuals contacted:

Conservation Data Centre, Victoria, BC (contacted for locality records in August 2003).

MacAllister, Kelly. US Fish and Wildlife (contacted in August 2003 for information on the status of the species in Washington and for distribution information in the United States).

Rithaler, R. Corporation of Delta, Delta B.C. (contacted in September 2003; provision of maps and information on amphibian distribution and status in Delta).

Collections Examined

Many of the records for Rana aurora were obtained from data files compiled by Laura Friis (BC Ministry of Air, Land and Water Protection) in July 2003. These files contain information associated with records from the following sources:

  • CanadianMuseum of Nature
  • RoyalBritish Columbia Museum
  • Cowan Vertebrate Museum, University of British Columbia
  • BC Frog Watch Program
  • Various surveys and observations contributed by researchers, consultants, and private individuals

We contacted the following additional sources for locality information:

The web-based records from the following collections in the United States were searched in September 2003:

  • Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, University of California, Berkley, California (no specimens)
  • California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, California (no specimens)
  • Museumof Comparative Zoology, Harvard University (1 specimen MCZ a-1538 from Edmonton, Alberta, which was misidentified and was Rana sylvatica).

We attempted to examine specimens from the Royal British Columbia Museum that were associated with outlying records (RBCM 1199, 1200, Kitimat; RBCM 816, 817, Manning Park); these specimens could not be located. An additional suspicious specimen (RBCM 297, Garibaldi) had been discarded in 1959.

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