Species Assessment For The Northern Leopard Frog (Rana Pipiens) In Wyoming

Publication Information

Douglas A Keinath
Brian E Smith
Publication Date: 2005-01
Tags: WLCI Agency Report, WLCI, BLM


The northern leopard frog (Rana pipiens) is a formerly abundant frog that has experienced 
significant declines across its range and is considered endangered in some parts of the range but 
still abundant in other parts of the range.  Various factors have been invoked to explain population 
declines in the northern leopard frog, including habitat destruction, diseases, chemical 
contamination, acidification, increased ultraviolet light due to loss of the ozone layer, introduced 
predators, overcollecting, climatic changes, and general environmental degradation.  However, no 
one cause has emerged as the primary factor behind population declines in any area.  Probably, 
multiple causes contribute to population declines of the species, and these causes most likely vary 
from site to site.  Of course, northern leopard frogs are still abundant in some areas, implying that 
factors leading to population declines in other areas are absent or less important where the species 
is still common. 
Conservation of this species depends on minimizing habitat alteration, removing introduced 
species, especially introduced predaceous fish, from breeding ponds, reducing the spread of 
diseases such as chytridiomycosis, ranavirus, and bacterial diseases from pond to pond, reducing 
chemical contamination and acidification, and eliminating overcollection where it occurs.


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