Species assessment for Columbia spotted frog (Rana luteiventris) in Wyoming
Author(s):Publication Date: 2005-01
Douglas A Keinath
Debra A Patla
Tags: BLM, WLCI Agency Report, UCRB, WLCI
Four populations of Columbia spotted frog (Rana luteiventris) are currently recognized,
including three disjunct, southern populations and a main population extending from northwest
Wyoming through western Canada. The main (or northern) population includes Wyoming. It
has no federal status as endangered or threatened and is generally considered to be secure,
although some local declines have been documented. Most occupied habitat for the Columbia
spotted frog occurs on lands managed by the National Forest Service (Regions 2 and 4) and the
National Park Service (Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks ). The Bureau of Land
Management (BLM) may have potential habitat in the Green River Basin and higher elevation
parcels near forest boundaries (Fig. 8 and 9), but the extent of this is largely unknown because
most potentially suitable BLM land has not been surveyed for spotted frogs.
Historical data are too scarce to determine if declines have occurred in many areas where
spotted frogs currently occur in Wyoming. Some populations in the state appear to be
vulnerable. Habitat loss, degradation, and fragmentation are major threats to spotted frogs on
multiple-use lands in Wyoming. Livestock grazing, water manipulation, road construction, and
the introduction of sport fish are identified as the activities most likely to affect habitat.
Spotted frog populations also may be directly affected, in terms of survival and reproduction,
by elevated mortality rates from a variety of human and management activities (e.g., roadkill,
trampling), predation by fish, and exposure to toxic chemicals. Drought is also a threat to frogs
and their habitat, and its effects may be exacerbated by management activities and land uses.